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Electrical safety when working near power lines


In the Republic of Belarus, the staff of Gosenergogaznadzor is constantly working on the prevention of electrical injuries, in particular, on the observance of the Rules for the protection of electrical networks (hereinafter referred to as the Rules). However, damage to power grids occurs every year, including cases of electric shock.

Failure to comply with the rules for the production of work in the security zones of power transmission lines often leads to accidents, including fatalities.

So, on August 11, 2020, in the Shumilinsky district of the Vitebsk region, an individual entrepreneur unloaded crushed stone from a semi-trailer at a parking area for motor vehicles. After unloading, he began to move with the semi-trailer body not lowered along the site towards the exit, located at a distance of 10 meters from the axis of the 10 kV overhead line (hereinafter referred to as the overhead line) and touched the lower wire with its subsequent breakage. The broken wire remained on the raised body of the semitrailer. The driver, getting out of the car, saw the smoking left wheel of the semi-trailer and decided to drive the car to a safe distance. When approaching the cab of the car, I got under the voltage of touch, but managed to get into the car. At the moment the car was moving, two wires clumped, as a result of which an emergency shutdown of the overhead line occurred. The victim, after an unsuccessful attempt to drive away, independently called the employees of the Ministry of Emergencies.

08/19/2020 in the Baranovichi district of the Brest region, an individual entrepreneur in a MAZ car carried out the transportation of grain under an agreement with an agricultural organization. At the grain storage and storage site, he unloaded it from the semi-trailer body. After unloading, without lowering the body of the semi-trailer, the car continued to move towards the exit, while hitting the overhead line wire. Leaving the car, the driver saw the front wheels on fire and decided to drive the car to a safe distance. When approaching the vehicle cabin and touching the door handle, he was energized and fatally injured by an electric shock.

09/01/2020 in Gomel, a driver on a MAZ car belonging to a construction trust, while unloading sand in the security zone of the overhead line, installed the car directly under the overhead line wires. When lifting the body, he approached the overhead line, and then hooked it. As a result, it broke off, after which the driver left the car.

09/04/2020 in the village of Voynilovichi, Nesvizh district, Minsk region, a driver in a MAZ car, owned by the road repair construction department, unloaded sand and gravel mixture for a local resident in the protection zone of the overhead line. After unloading the car, the driver got out of the cab to clean the body. Noticing the smoke on the rear wheels, he made an attempt to get into the cab of the car, got under stress and fell down next to the car. A local resident called an ambulance, which, upon arrival, declared the driver's death.

03/31/2021 in the Minsk district of the Minsk region with the personnel of JSC "Bolshaya Construction" there was a group accident. The staff performed the work on the cladding of the warehouse building, using a tower-tour. To change the place of work, two workers moved the tower-tour along the building along the inclined plane of the concrete pavement. When moving the tower, we brought it closer to an unacceptable distance to the live parts of the cable-overhead power transmission line, which is under voltage of 10kV. As a result, they were injured by electric shock. Ambulance personnel delivered the injured to a health care facility.

In order to avoid accidents, Gosenergogaznadzor once again draws the attention of managers and employees of organizations, individual entrepreneurs and citizens that for the safe work in the security zones of power lines (hereinafter referred to as power lines), it is necessary to strictly observe and comply with the requirements of the Rules.

I would like to remind you that the protection zone of the power transmission line is a zone along the overhead power transmission lines in the form of a land plot and airspace, bounded by vertical planes spaced on both sides of the line from the extreme wires at a distance of 2 m for lines with a voltage of 0.4 kV, 10 m - 10kV, 15m - 35kV, 20m - 110kV.
When performing work near power lines, the following requirements must be observed:
- the procedure and conditions for carrying out work in the protective zones of overhead power lines must be agreed with the organizations operating these lines;
- it is forbidden to arrange driveways for cars and mechanisms having a total height with or without cargo from the road surface more than 4.5 m, as well as parking for motor vehicles, machines and mechanisms (in security zones of power lines);
- the passage of machines and mechanisms under the power transmission lines should be carried out near the supports and across the axis;
- work must be performed by at least 2 people, one of whom oversees the work.

If an electric wire falls onto a vehicle, the driver must:
- Immediately, without leaving the cab, try, if possible, to get rid of the broken wire by advancing the machine.
- in the absence of such an opportunity, stay in the cab, immediately stop the car and draw the attention of the nearest workers with an alarm signal, who must inform the organization operating this line about the incident, and not take any independent action until the arrival of the emergency team.
- to approach such a machine at a distance of less than 8m is prohibited.

When the unit catches fire as a result of a falling wire or an electrical discharge, it is necessary:
- immediately leave the unit, but so that there is no simultaneous contact of a person with a machine and the ground, i.e. jump to the ground on both feet, not holding on to the car. It is possible to move away from the car until the tension is relieved only in small steps, without lifting your legs one from the other and from the ground. Call the emergency team and do not take any independent action until it arrives.

In the event of an arc short circuit on a power transmission line support, with a broken wire lying on the ground, it is impossible to approach the supports and wires at a distance of less than 8m. Work should be stopped, report the incident to the dispatcher on duty of the Ushachi Distribution Zone by phone 5-88-51 or short number 144 and do nothing on their own until the arrival of the emergency team.

In all emergency situations in the area of ​​the overhead power line, before the arrival of a special brigade, measures must be taken to prevent the possible approach of people to the emergency area. If it is impossible to organize security, it is necessary to fence off the emergency area, post identification signs.

Remember! The voltage of overhead transmission lines can be 10kV, 35kV and 110kV. In this case, electric shock occurs without a person or mechanism touching live wires, and when approaching an unacceptable distance - less than 1 meter (for 10 and 35kV power lines) and 1.5 meters (for 110kV power lines). Gosenergogaznadzor once again calls on the heads and employees of organizations, individual entrepreneurs and citizens to ensure safety, create normal operating conditions for electrical networks and prevent accidents, to comply with the Rules. Any kind of action in the immediate vicinity of electrical installations can lead to tragic consequences, and persons who have violated the rules for the protection of electrical networks, in addition, will incur administrative responsibility in accordance with the legislation. You should not expose your life and the lives of others to the mortal danger of electric shock.

Vladimir Klepets,
state inspector for
energy and gas supervision