Video of Arcing Power Line Shows You Exactly Why To Stay a Safe Distance Away

Contact with overhead power lines is a major hazard when working on most construction sites and especially when working from elevated platforms or with heavy machinery. 

Between 2008 and 2010, 119 fatalities in the construction industry were caused by contact with overhead powerlines, averaging to about 40 per year, according to The Center for Construction Research and Training.  It was also the cause of over half of all fatalities caused by electrocution for non-electricians.

When working from ladders, scaffolds, lifts, or in cranes and other heavy equipment, a minimum of 10 foot clearance should be kept from a high voltage power line providing 300 volts to 50kV.  For any voltages over 50kV, 10 feet plus 0.4 inches for each additional kV should be the minimal distance to the line.

A video was recently shared on Facebook by Glen Cook showing the huge amount of power that an arcing powerline can create, backed by huge balls of fire which nearly swallow an entire tree. This could be a great example to show to your teams at your next toolbox talk.