The new rule for workers involved in power generation, transmission and distribution has been finalized and published. Updated safety standards for power line workers have been a long time coming. The new changes will protect workers from deadly electric arcs and improve construction standards by requiring protective equipment on all electrical devices. The change in ruling was justified after representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) began to notice a trend in power line accidents.
Often the vehicle which supports the aerial lift that allows workers to reach the tops of poles is vulnerable to collision by negligent motorists. In addition, faulty pole climbers, the boots and rope that allow for power line workers to scale a pole, often malfunction or disengage from the pole, sending the worker plummeting to the ground. Electrocution and burn hazards are the most dangerous of all for power line workers. Electrical arcs can easily burn through insulating gloves, causing third degree burns and electrocution to exposed workers.
The new rules “will save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries annually. Electric utilities, electrical contractors, and labor organizations have long championed these much needed measures to better protect the men and women who work on or near electrical power lines,” said OSHA’s Assistant Secretary of Labor.
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The ruling does not take effect until July 10, 2014, and, even then, it is likely that not all power companies will be employing the standards immediately. As such, working on power lines remains a dangerous endeavor. If you or a co-worker has been injured while working on a power line, our Columbus workers compensation attorneys are here for you. We have been fighting alongside injured and neglected workers for over 80 years. To explain your current situation to one of our attorneys or for free legal advice on anything workers compensation related, give us a call and we will listen.
[Did You Know: Power line regulations have not been updated in over 40 years.]
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—Columbus Workers Comp Attorneys