In theory, overhead power lines are designed with sufficient clearance between the energized conductors and the ground – but in practice, the outcomes are different. Nationwide, overhead power line injuries have outnumbered all other types of electrical injury since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking these cases in 1992. Even a low-voltage shock can kill a person; but overhead power lines are routinely operated at voltages exceeding 765,000 volts between conductors.
Most overhead power line injuries occur in occupations that work on overhead lines, such as line workers. But many other workers – painters, roofers, truck drivers, farmers, window cleaners, crane operators, and tree trimmers – are severely shocked or electrocuted when the inadvertently contact an overhead line.
Oregon’s High Voltage Overhead Line Safety Act requires that no work take place within 10 feet of a high-voltage overhead power line until the utility has been notified and precautions have been made to complete the work safely.
Overhead line safety actEnglish01/18/2007
Power line safety - evaluating the work zoneEnglish02/29/2012
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Division 2, Subdivision F, Powered Platforms
Division 2, Subdivision I, Personal Protective Equipment *
Division 2, Subdivision R, Special Industries (includes Grain Handling Facilities, Ornamental Tree & Shrub Services, Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills, Sawmills, Telecommunications) *
Division 2, Subdivision S, Electrical
Division 3, Subdivision K, Electrical *
Division 3, Subdivision L, Scaffolding *
Division 3, Subdivision N, Helicopters, Hoists, Elevators, and Conveyors *
Division 4, Subdivision S, Electricity *
Division 7, Subdivision C, Planning, First Aid and Work Conditions
Word document versions may be available * on the Rules pages
Required clearances from the neutral conductor02/21/2008
Oregon PUC - Utility and Operator Safety
Oregon Overhead line safety act Pacific Power publication
Tree and shrub services