Tag: Tailgate Topics

Safety Leadership in a Written Pre-Job Briefing

OSHA 1910.269(c) states that an employer must ensure that a pre-job briefing is conducted and that it covers the following details of the job:  • Hazards • Work procedures • Special precautions • Energy source controls• Personal protective equipment requirements A Valuable IdeaCompanies are moving to a written pre-job briefing to document compliance with OSHA standards. A written pre-job briefing policy is the best practice, but a written pre-job briefing never audited is a missed opportunity in establishing a strong safety culture. Safety leadership begins at the top. People sometimes...

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Basic Qualifications of Employees

The Tailgate for this month goes back to the very basics of electrical safety – what OSHA considers the four requirements to be considered a qualified employee. This article is based on my 18 years of experience developing and teaching OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 classes. OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.269(a)(2)(ii) standard states that qualified employees shall be trained and competent in:• The skills and techniques necessary to distinguish exposed live parts from other parts of electric equipment;• The skills and techniques necessary to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live parts;• The minimum approach...

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Felling of Trees Near Power Lines

Here at Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), our line crews are responsible for the operation and maintenance of approximately 17,000 miles of power lines within a 15-state region of the central and western U.S. Within that region are geographic areas where vegetation hazards can pose a threat to the reliability of some of our power lines. To identify these hazards, WAPA utilizes both routine aerial and ground patrols to collect and monitor vegetation data. The criteria we use to establish vegetation minimum clearance distances is based on the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.333 minimum approach distance...

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No-Voltage Testing

This month’s Tailgate Topic covers the important task of no-voltage testing, sometimes referred to as absence of voltage testing or no-potential testing. No lineworker is ever excluded from the requirements of testing conductors to verify the absence of voltage when required, although methods and practices on how this is accomplished will vary among companies. The following is a basic overview of how to test both exposed conductors and cable. The steps provided here are demonstrative in nature and not intended to replace your local rules and procedures. This Tailgate also covers the general...

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Substation Safety

This month’s Tailgate covers substation safety. Substations have a set of unique rules that are strictly enforced by the governing utility or municipality, known as the designated authority. This article is only a guide that outlines the basic requirements for personnel entering and working in a substation. By design, substations have exposed energized buss work, which is often found in low proximity to the ground. Only qualified workers are allowed to perform and direct work; nonqualified workers must be under the supervision of a qualified worker. Extreme care should be taken when moving equipment...

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safety glasses 052611 diagram

A Second Look at Safety Glasses

Safety glasses weren’t always considered part of everyday utility construction equipment. It was during the mid-1980s when companies really started embracing the use of safety glasses as mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE). Today you cannot step foot on a utility construction site without proper PPE, including safety glasses. Much has been accomplished in eyewear design, fit and comfort over the past 25 years, and many eye injuries have been avoided as a result of these significant changes. The purpose of this Tailgate is to cover some of the basics of safety glasses, as well as address...

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Equipment: Back to Basics

In this month’s Tailgate we get back to basics and review some of the fundamental principles of crew safety when handling tools and equipment. Principle 1: Prior to usage, inspect and test all tools and equipment in accordance with your company’s approved procedures.Inspection and testing are cornerstones of worker safety. Inspect tools, equipment, ropes, knots and rigging as required by your company’s procedure or, if no such procedure exists, on a routine basis. Be sure to pay special attention to calibration dates, testing dates and manufacturer expiration dates.  Principle 2: Never...

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Live-Line Tool Use and Care

After attending a Monday morning safety meeting, a lineman is assigned the task of driving to a remote county road to measure the conductor height of an energized 115-kV transmission line. A rural farmhouse in the vicinity is scheduled to be moved and subsequently would pass directly underneath the transmission conductors. The lineman’s foreman wants to know if the top of the house will encroach on the minimum approach distance to live parts as it passes underneath the conductors.  The lineman arrives at the site. He parks his utility truck on the side of the road and turns on his vehicle...

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Taking Stock of Your Fall Protection Compliance

Resonating throughout the industry today is an increasing concern regarding fall protection compliance – a key component of any powerline safety compliance program. Fall protection compliance has four essential elements: training, proper use and maintenance, inspection and documentation. Drawing from manufacturers’ specifications and OSHA standards, this Tailgate is a comprehensive resource to assist your organization in building a fall protection program that meets required compliance safety standards.    OSHA requires that all employees working at heights above 4 feet be trained...

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