BY John Hudson, P.Eng. CEO DETAC Corp.
Underground and Overhead Power Lines
Did you ever wonder what happens if an underground high voltage power line short circuits while you are excavating? High voltages may be created in the ground where you are standing and on the objects you are holding. The same goes if you raise the boom into an overhead power line. These events have happened and whether people walk away from them often depends on how they have protected themselves.
Do you know how sparks from static electricity can be created and cause a fire or explosion If you are cleaning up potentially flammable mixtures? Unfortunately, materials being sucked up through hoses has resulted in sparking that ignited flammable mixtures, causing numerous fatalities and serious burns.
Manage the Risk
Hydrovac and vacuum truck operators have unique exposures to electrical hazards that you should understand and be able to control through knowledgeable work planning and using effective bonding and grounding techniques. The principles are fairly simple and with a little education you can understand the electrical hazards and take the right steps to reduce the risk.
Prevention Through Training
Some jurisdictions and organizations mandate specific protective methods for workers while others do not. But all jurisdictions do require that workers understand the hazards they face and the options they have to manage the risk.
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