Back in 1978 the Human Factors Society of Detroit, Michigan, did a study called, “Judging Clearance Distances Near Overhead Power Lines.” The specialists examined accuracy in particular – and the results were not good.

A field study was conducted to determine the accuracy of clearance judgments involving lifting equipment near overhead power lines. Results showed generally unreliable performance in making visual judgments and significant differences by observer station.  – Lorna Middendorf

When it comes to overhead power lines, electrocution is a very real possibility. ‘Visual’ and ‘observer’ in the above quote refers to humans that are employed as spotters. This is clearly an arena where technology beats human judgment.

Judging Clearance Distances near Overhead Power Lines

Humans Are Unreliable at Judging Clearance Distances

The study reveals a two-fold focus, workers and hazard,

Clearly, rules for working clearance and hazard clearance should be followed closely if power line injuries and deaths are to be avoided.

Human error cannot be avoided, and bad things happen when the only safety precaution is to have spotters. Spotters are people who watch for power line sources and warn the operators of equipment if they get too close. The problem is that people have differing judgments about distance and they can easily be distracted. Perhaps that’s why agencies like “The Human Factors Society” exist.

Many factors lead to human error. Often spotters cannot detect interference of power sources and differing voltages involved. People can be blinded by sunlight in certain conditions. Extremely cold or extremely hot weather can hamper a person’s facility on the job. Also, there are emotions that can change any person without warning.

Technology is Superior at Judging Clearance Distances

All Sigalarm devices have the best technological advances built in. As soon as new breakthroughs in science show us how to make them better yet, we make sure it happens. This is what is required to keep workers safe. At Sigalarm, we take that as part and parcel of our job. That’s why we have the highest safety ratings in the industry.

Properly built and installed proximity devices never have a bad day. They are unaffected by sunlight. A Sigalarm device works equally well in cold or warm weather. Work locations today require the BEST technology to save lives.

Every Work Site is Different

Professional power line workers (installers and repairers) are usually well-trained and take adequate precautions to keep safe. Sadly, some do not, and the results can be deadly. Worse, those injured or killed often are not the ones who made the mistake. No two work locations are the same. Every place you can imagine is a place where proximity alarms have saved lives.

Schools, stores, sports fields, bus stations, skyscrapers, malls, churches, and even the sidewalk on your street (and the street itself) have required dedicated workers to work near power lines. Sigalarm is there to keep them safe. Our research takes into account differing power sources nearby, weather conditions, temperatures, and the sensitivity setting on our devices.

Call us today and speak to one of our technicians. We want to partner with you in the high goal of keeping people safe.