Tractor-trailer truck drivers on Oklahoma job sites should be careful around power lines. After a tractor-trailer that was dumping gravel made contact with an overhead power line, leading to some damage but no injuries, the Mine Safety and Health Administration put out what is known as a “close call alert”. This included a list of best practices for safety when working near an active power line.
When possible, the area near the power line should be avoided. If equipment will be operated within 10 feet of the lines, the lines should be de-energized. In the accident that occurred, the truck did not allow the 10 feet of clearance that is recommended. The best practices warned that during transport, some equipment might be higher than usual.
The power company should be contacted if an incident does occur. If a driver makes contact with the power line, the power company should be asked to turn off the power. The driver should remain in the vehicle unless there is a fire. In that case, the driver should exit the vehicle but should not make contact with the ground at the same time as the equipment.
While there are a number of best practices across industries than can help keep workers safer, in some cases, a worker may be injured despite following these safety guidelines. Whether or not workers have followed safety guidelines, employees are usually eligible for workers’ compensation if they have sustained an injury or become ill because of an incident on the job. A person might also become injured or ill from repetitive strain or long-term exposure to a hazard. The worker may want to consult an attorney about employee rights to compensation, for assistance in filling out workers’ compensation paperwork, or for assistance with an appeal.