Q:

What is a safe distance when working around power lines?

A:

Quick Answer

The minimum distance when working on construction around power lines depends on the voltage of the power lines. The standard recommended distance is a 20-foot radius around the line, but the distance can range from 10 to over 45 feet depending on the voltage.

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Full Answer

The level of risk to workers determines the minimum distance from power lines. Low-voltage lines (up to 50 volts) require a 10-foot clearance, increasing to a 45-foot clearance for high-voltage (1,000 volts or more) lines. If any equipment on the work site could come within the clearance zone of a power line, the owner of the construction company must either de-energize the power line or take measures to ensure workers do not get too close. These measures range from erecting physical barriers to using another employee as a "spotter" to tell machinery operators when to stop.

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