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Power Line Accidents in 2020

Electrical injuries from power line accidents remain to be a dangerous risk across various industries. Without proper equipment or safety procedures, workers are at risk for electrical shock, severe burns, or even death.

Below are a few scenarios that occurred due to contact with overhead power lines this year. We also give some tips to avoid these electrical hazards.

Power Line Accidents in 2020

Direct contact isn’t the only way workers are at risk on-site. The rise of power line accidents occurring due to the vicinity of the equipment to the line’s electrical charge continues to rise.

Service Technicians Survive Power Line Scare

In a recent power line accident in Washington, two workers received electrical burns due to the proximity of their equipment to the overhead power line. The electrical current arced to the nearby metal railing of the lift passed through the frame into the ground where the two workers were standing. The two men survived the encounter.

Direct Contact during Solar Panel Installation

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for another worker for a solar panel installation company that was involved in a power line accident in March 2020. The construction worker was operating from a boom lift when he made direct contact with an overhead power line which burned a quarter of his body.

Power Line Accidents on Construction Sites in 2020

In April 2020, an employee of a pumping company was operating an excavator at a construction site. The excavator contacted an overhead power line, and the employee sustained electric shock and was killed.

In March 2020, a construction employee was working on the renovation of a two-story building. While working on the roof and using a steel tape measure, the wind blew and extended the tape measure into an overhead power line that was transmitting 19,920 volts of electricity. After an electric arc occurred, the worker fell from the roof and was killed.

In the same month, a construction employee was working on the third story of a commercial renovation. While installing gutters, he made contact with an overhead power line, causing him to fall three stories.

Power Line Accidents are Avoidable

Power line accidents can occur due to various circumstances such as the need to observe multiple targets at the same site, reduced visibility due to weather or environmental landscape, or worker complacency. However, these accidents remain a serious risk and precautions can and should be taken to avoid them. There is never a reason to delay keeping your employees safe on the job site.

Power Line Safety Tips

Without proper safety strategies intact, companies are at risk of electrical accidents and OSHA violations. There are a few strategies that companies can invest in to keep their workers safe.

They should ensure that workers receive proper training and understanding of on-site safety measures. For example, training on working near high-voltage electrical lines or how to deal with downed power lines.

Workers and construction managers need to practice and promote safe behaviors that minimize the risk of electrical accidents. In particular, a great way of preventing such instances is investing in technology that can take on-site safety to the next level. Proximity alarms are a great tool to add to any heavy equipment. These devices will alert workers if their equipment is too close to any overhead power lines.

Stay Protected with Sigalarm

For decades, Sigalarm has proven that installing proximity alarms is a great way to prevent power line accidents. Sigalarm is proud to be the world leader in power line proximity alarms, keeping workers safe on the job.

We work with various companies and industries to provide the necessary equipment to save lives. We are proud to be a community that prioritizes life and safety. Contact us for more information on how we can keep you safe on the job.

Puerto Rico Blackout Results From Excavator Incident

On April 18, Puerto Rico residents experienced an island-wide blackout. According to local officials, the Puerto Rico blackout occurred after a contractor operating an excavator hit a transmission line near the island’s south coast. According to Justo Gonzalez, the power company’s executive sub-director, the contractor’s excavator got too close to a high-voltage line, resulting in an energy discharge. After the line went down as part of a protection measure, the other southern power plants went down as well.Puerto Rico Blackout Results From Excavator Incident

Puerto Rico Blackout

“It took out all the units in the south,” said González. According to authorities, the same contractor was involved in two more recent power failures incidents and has since been fired. During the previous outage, a tree limb dropped on a power line while the contractor, in question, was clearing land.

The Puerto Rico blackout occurred after months of unstable power in the wake of Hurricane Maria. However, the most recent power outage was the first full-island blackout to occur since September’s Category 4 storm. Not only did the event result in traffic jams, but it also affected schools, businesses, and other workplaces around the island.

video from Washington Post

Limited Backup Power During Blackout

In the hours after the incident, officials struggled to restore power to the airport and major hospitals. By Thursday morning, the utility company had returned power to more than 1.4 million customers throughout Puerto Rico. According to officials quoted in TIME, it took 24 to 36 hours to restore power island-wide. Currently, Puerto Rico legislators are considering a bill to privatize the territory’s power company, which is suffering from old infrastructure and serious debt.

While many of San Juan’s biggest hotels suffered only temporary losses of power, traffic was affected throughout the island, and many businesses had to close down. Additionally, the fire department reported that a Chili’s restaurant caught on fire. “Welcome to Puerto Rico, this is what we know as ‘life,’” said Eduardo Perez, a former Major League baseball player and ESPN commentator in a news conference.

Preventing Outages and Accidents

The Puerto Rico blackout served as a valuable reminder of the importance of power line warning systems. Not only do proximity detection alarms warn workers if they’re operating close to power lines, but they also offer notice if equipment enters a preset area. Preventing power line contacts saves lives. Sigalarms protect valuable equipment and utilities infrastructure from further damage.  As the world leader in power line warning systems, we’re passionate about reducing dangerous and unnecessary power line contact. Even in tricky situations such as the Puerto Rico incident, power line contacts are completely preventable, with the use of Sigalarm products.

Trust Sigalarm With Your Employees’ Wellbeing

Looking to protect your employees from harm and ensure public safety? Contact us today for more information about our proximity alarms, our services, and our mission to prevent on-the-job accidents. Also, make sure to stop by our shop for the latest sales and offerings for your equipment. We look forward to being your partner in safety.

3 Overhead Power Line Stories Where Accidents Could Have Been Avoided

Workplace safety is top of mind for all business owners, especially those who work in potentially hazardous industries. For most construction sites and their workers, the chance of an on-site injury is high. However, at Sigalarm we pride ourselves on making products that can greatly help keep you and your equipment safe on the job. Below are three examples of overhead power line stories with a less than happy ending. Each of these stories demonstrates how the proper safety equipment and warning devices could have safeguarded lives and expensive equipment. Read more

Why Are Overhead Power Lines So Dangerous?

If a squirrel can run along overhead power lines without harm, why are they dangerous?

This is a physics problem that can be easily explained:

A worker is at risk of electrocution if his equipment makes contact with a power cable while he is touching the ground. Electrical current would then be able to pass through his body and electrocute him. The electricity will only leave a power source if it has direct access to the ground. If a worker grabbed a power line with both feet off the ground, he would not be harmed. This is apparent when you see birds or squirrels sitting safely on power lines, even though they are not insulated. SLATE Explainer Read more