Two sign hangers working for Outfront Media were working 25 feet above ground, installing a vinyl sign in Los Angeles. One of the metal poles used to place the sign touched the energized high-voltage line above the work area. One of the workers received burns over 25% of his or her body.
Cal/OSHA issued three citations to the company. The proposed penalties add up to $32,435.
Cal/OSHA cited Outfront Media for violating provisions that are meant to prevent accidents while working near overhead lines (as per California’s Department of Industrial Relations). The provision requires a minimum 6-foot clearance while working near 34.5kV lines.
CFR 1910.333 talks about standards for workers in other industries. It specifies minimum distances (at least 10 feet) away from energized equipment where workers must be if they are using conductive objects [1910.333(c)(3)(i)(A)].
Don’t use metal ladders when working near power lines. A best practice is to keep all vehicles, objects, and personnel well beyond the OSHA minimum distance. e-Hazard recommends at least 20 feet away.
You may also want to read Working Around Power Lines & How You Can Avoid an Accident.