§ 1926.1408 Power line safety (up to 350 kV) – equipment operations.
(a) Hazard assessments and precautions inside the work zone. Before beginning
equipment operations, the employer must:
(1) Identify the work zone by either:
(i) Demarcating boundaries (such as with flags, or a device such as a
range limit device or range control warning device) and prohibiting the
operator from operating the equipment past those boundaries, or
(ii) Defining the work zone as the area 360 degrees around the equipment,
up to the equipment’s maximum working radius.
(2) Determine if any part of the equipment, load line or load (including rigging
and lifting accessories), if operated up to the equipment’s maximum working
radius in the work zone, could get closer than 20 feet to a power line. If so, the
employer must meet the requirements in Option (1), Option (2), or Option (3) of
this section, as follows
(i) Option (1) – Deenergize and ground. Confirm from the utility
owner/operator that the power line has been deenergized and visibly
grounded at the worksite
(ii) Option (2) – 20 foot clearance. Ensure that no part of the equipment,
load line, or load (including rigging and lifting accessories), gets closer
than 20 feet to the power line by implementing the measures specified in
paragraph (b) of this section.
(iii) Option (3) – Table A clearance.
(A) Determine the line’s voltage and the minimum approach
distance permitted under Table A (see § 1926.1408).
(B) Determine if any part of the equipment, load line or load
(including rigging and lifting accessories), while operating up to
the equipment’s maximum working radius in the work zone, could
get closer than the minimum approach distance of the power line
permitted under Table A (see § 1926.1408). If so, then the
employer must follow the requirements in paragraph (b) of this
section to ensure that no part of the equipment, load line, or load
(including rigging and lifting accessories), gets closer to the line
than the minimum approach distance.
(b) Preventing encroachment/electrocution. Where encroachment precautions are
required under Option (2) or Option (3) of this section, all of the following requirements
must be met:
(1) Conduct a planning meeting with the operator and the other workers who will
be in the area of the equipment or load to review the location of the power line(s),
and the steps that will be implemented to prevent encroachment/electrocution.
(2) If tag lines are used, they must be non-conductive.
(3) Erect and maintain an elevated warning line, barricade, or line of signs, in
view of the operator, equipped with flags or similar high-visibility markings, at 20
feet from the power line (if using Option (2) of this section) or at the minimum
approach distance under Table A (see § 1926.1408) (if using Option (3) of this
section). If the operator is unable to see the elevated warning line, a dedicated
spotter must be used as described in § 1926.1408(b)(4)(ii) in addition to
implementing one of the measures described in §§ 1926.1408(b)(4)(i), (iii), (iv)
(4) Implement at least one of the following measures:
(i) A proximity alarm set to give the operator sufficient warning to
(ii) A dedicated spotter who is in continuous contact with the operator.
Where this measure is selected, the dedicated spotter must:
(A) Be equipped with a visual aid to assist in identifying the
minimum clearance distance. Examples of a visual aid include, but
are not limited to: a clearly visible line painted on the ground; a
clearly visible line of stanchions; a set of clearly visible line-ofsight
landmarks (such as a fence post behind the dedicated spotter
and a building corner ahead of the dedicated spotter).
(B) Be positioned to effectively gauge the clearance distance.
(C) Where necessary, use equipment that enables the dedicated
spotter to communicate directly with the operator.
(D) Give timely information to the operator so that the required
clearance distance can be maintained.
(iii) A device that automatically warns the operator when to stop
movement, such as a range control warning device. Such a device must be
set to give the operator sufficient warning to prevent encroachment.
(iv) A device that automatically limits range of movement, set to prevent
(v) An insulating link/device, as defined in § 1926.1401, installed at a
point between the end of the load line (or below) and the load.
(5) The requirements of paragraph (b)(4) of this section do not apply to work
covered by subpart V of this part.
(c) Voltage information. Where Option (3) of this section is used, the utility
owner/operator of the power lines must provide the requested voltage information within
two working days of the employer’s request.
(d) Operations below power lines.
(1) No part of the equipment, load line, or load (including rigging and lifting
accessories) is allowed below a power line unless the employer has confirmed that
the utility owner/operator has deenergized and (at the worksite) visibly grounded
the power line, except where one of the exceptions in paragraph (d)(2) of this
(2) Exceptions. Paragraph (d)(1) of this section is inapplicable where the
employer demonstrates that one of the following applies:
(i) The work is covered by subpart V of this part.
(ii) For equipment with non-extensible booms: The uppermost part of the equipment, with the boom at true vertical, would be more than 20 feet
below the plane of the power line or more than the Table A of this section
minimum clearance distance below the plane of the power line.
(iii) For equipment with articulating or extensible booms: The uppermost
part of the equipment, with the boom in the fully extended position, at true
vertical, would be more than 20 feet below the plane of the power line or
more than the Table A of this section minimum clearance distance below
the plane of the power line.
(iv) The employer demonstrates that compliance with paragraph (d)(1) of
this section is infeasible and meets the requirements of § 1926.1410.
(e) Power lines presumed energized. The employer must assume that all power lines are
energized unless the utility owner/operator confirms that the power line has been and
continues to be deenergized and visibly grounded at the worksite.
(f) When working near transmitter/communication towers where the equipment is close
enough for an electrical charge to be induced in the equipment or materials being
handled, the transmitter must be deenergized or the following precautions must be taken:
(1) The equipment must be provided with an electrical ground.
(2) If tag lines are used, they must be non-conductive.
(1) The employer must train each operator and crew member assigned to work
with the equipment on all of the following:
(i) The procedures to be followed in the event of electrical contact with a
power line. Such training must include:
(A) Information regarding the danger of electrocution from the
operator simultaneously touching the equipment and the ground.
(B) The importance to the operator’s safety of remaining inside
the cab except where there is an imminent danger of fire,
explosion, or other emergency that necessitates leaving the cab.
(C) The safest means of evacuating from equipment that may be
(D) The danger of the potentially energized zone around the
equipment (step potential).
(E) The need for crew in the area to avoid approaching or
touching the equipment and the load.
(F) Safe clearance distance from power lines.
(ii) Power lines are presumed to be energized unless the utility
owner/operator confirms that the power line has been and continues to be
deenergized and visibly grounded at the worksite.
(iii) Power lines are presumed to be uninsulated unless the utility
owner/operator or a registered engineer who is a qualified person withrespect to electrical power transmission and distribution confirms that a
line is insulated.
(iv) The limitations of an insulating link/device, proximity alarm, and
range control (and similar) device, if used.
(v) The procedures to be followed to properly ground equipment and the
limitations of grounding.
(2) Employees working as dedicated spotters must be trained to enable them to
effectively perform their task, including training on the applicable requirements of
(3) Training under this section must be administered in accordance with §
(h) Devices originally designed by the manufacturer for use as: a safety device (see §
1926.1415), operational aid, or a means to prevent power line contact or electrocution,
when used to comply with this section, must meet the manufacturer’s procedures for use
and conditions of use.
Table A – Minimum Clearance Distances
Voltage (nominal, kV, alternating current) Minimum clearance distance (feet)
up to 50 - 10'
over 50 to 200 - 15'
over 200 to 350 - 20'
over 350 to 500 - 25'
over 500 to 750 - 35'
over 750 to 1,000 - 45'
over 1,000 (as established by the utility owner/operator or registered professional
engineer who is a qualified person with
respect to electrical power transmission
Note: The value that follows “to” is up to
and includes that value. For example, over
50 to 200 means up to and including
§ 1926.1409 Power line safety (over 350 kV ).
The requirements of § 1926.1407 and § 1926.1408 apply to power lines over 350 kV
(a) For power lines at or below 1000 kV, wherever the distance “20 feet” is specified, the
distance “50 feet” must be substituted; and
(b) For power lines over 1000 kV, the minimum clearance distance must be established
by the utility owner/operator or registered professional engineer who is a qualified person
with respect to electrical power transmission and distribution.