Safety Blog

Tips and rules to crane safety work around power lines

22 Apr 2020 - Flaaim

Working near power lines can is dangerous and can cause serious accidents that may lead to death. For this reason, safety must be taken into consideration when working near power lines with a crane.

These rules and regulations govern the use of cranes near power lines. They act as guidelines to manage crane operators. The regulations are set by the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) to manage the safe operations of cranes working near power lines. In this article, we shall explore some of the rules and tips that will enable you and your company work safely with your crane near power lines.

Maintain Line clearance distance

Tips and rules to crane safety work around power lines

OSHA requires that cranes working near power lines must maintain a clearance distance of at least 10 feet clearance distance between the equipment such as crane that is energized up to 50 kilo volts and the power line.

For every increase in the energy levels of your crane the distance should be increased by 4 inches for every 10 Kv of energy going up.

This distance is determined by taking into account the cranes furthest reach when fully extended. This minimizes the risk of the crane coming into any contact with the power line even when fully stretched. Therefore, when your crane operators arrive at a working site, they should first consider these distances to determine where they crane will stand as it begins work.

De-energize Crane

Cranes can only come nearer the power line in case of emergencies when they are completely de-energized and the power lines grounded. The local authorities must be adequately informed about the operations so that they take extra precautions and grant permission.

Warning Signs

Give and post warnings to the operators working near power lines. You should also place warning signs on the areas beyond which the cranes should not pass.

The crane operators and the ground staff should be adequately informed about the distances to keep to avoid coming close to the power lines.

Mark Safe Areas

Tips and rules to crane safety work around power lines

You should mark areas where the cranes should pass on while maintaining adequate distance that no accident can occur.

You should also put in place an emergency meeting point for all staff working with the cranes if there is an emergency. This meeting point will help you to account for everyone’s safety and security.

Training of all staff

Ensure that all staff are adequately trained on standard operating practices. Crane safety should be a pre-requisite for any staff member working with cranes. They should understand the OSHA guidelines and also personal safety rules to observe. They should also be trained on emergency response and what to do if there is an accident on site.


If there is contact between the crane and an energized line, the operator should try to reverse the crane so that it is removed from the contact point. If this is not possible, the operator should stay inside the cab until the lines have been de-energized. All other staff should keep away from the location until the emergency response team arrives.

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