Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other


Guy wires and power lines can be a deadly mix, OSHA warns

Photo: OSHA

Washington — Spurred by a number of deaths in which a guy wire being worked on contacted an energized high-voltage power line, OSHA has issued a hazard alert.

In some of the cases, OSHA says its investigations revealed that the guy wires “weren’t grounded and had insulators positioned incorrectly.”

Guy wires are installed on poles for support. According to the agency, workers on the ground can be exposed to electrical hazards when:

  • Installing a new guy wire on a pole with energized lines.
  • Adjusting the tension to remove slack from a guy wire.
  • Replacing a guy wire after an incident or natural disaster.

“To protect employees, guy wires must be either effectively grounded or have properly positioned insulators to block the flow of electric current,” OSHA says.

The alert features illustrations on proper and improper positioning of insulation on guy wires.

“OSHA recommends employers follow relevant guidelines in consensus standards, such as the National Electrical Safety Code (IEEE, NESC-C2), which recommends ungrounded guy wires have insulators installed to prevent electric current from traveling down the guy wire to below 8 feet above the ground level,” the alert states.

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication