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#47980 - 01/31/05 11:01 PM Accident Waiting to Happen  
caselec  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558
San Jose, CA
One of the GC’s we work for was hired to manage the construction of a new 6000’ single family dwelling but the homeowner is hiring the subs. The new dwelling in being constructed underneath existing 12kv lines and we are in the process of installing the underground substructures to relocate the lines. Today I stopped by the project to find that the framers have started putting the roof together which is a few feet below the lines. They cut pieces of yellow caution tape and tied them to the bare lines so they would not run into them. I told the general that I can’t believe that whoever tied the tape to the lines was still alive and construction of the roof needs to stop. He said he has told the framing crew and the homeowner that work needs to stop around these lines but they don’t see the problem and don’t want to delay construction. I don’t have any control over this work but if someone gets killed I will probably feel that I didn’t do enough to prevent the accident. The general said he was going to talk to the owner again tonight but if he refuses to stop this construction I’m going to call the utility tomorrow morning. I’m not even sure what the utility can do to stop the work and they can’t de-energize the lines since they feed many other customers.


Curt Swartz

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#47981 - 01/31/05 11:15 PM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
Active 1  Offline
Member
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Grayslake IL, USA
If they are there working near the lines you could call the polece. Tell them what ever (suicide attempt, power theft, power line terrists, etc. ) to get them to go out and make an incident report. I would say at that point the responcibility would be with the police. Maybe they would warn them, make a report, and leave. If someone gets hurt at least you can prove you tried to help, warn, & stop them.

Tom


#47982 - 01/31/05 11:34 PM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,875
NY, USA
I agree with Tom, call the Police and the Utility if they don't stop. Besides being foolish working in proximity to these lines may also be illegal.

Bill


#47983 - 01/31/05 11:50 PM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,875
NY, USA
I don't know if anything similar applies where you are, but here's some info about the Oregon High Voltage Overhead Line Safety Act. I believe there is a similar law in New York too.
Quote
To protect those working near overhead power lines from accidental contact, the Oregon Legislature passed into law the High Voltage Overhead Line Safety Act.

The law provides that no work activities take place within 10 feet of a high voltage overhead power line until the following two requirements are met:

1. The responsible party must notify the utility operating the line of the intended work activity.
2. The responsible party and the utility must complete mutually satisfactory precautions for the activity.

As soon as you inform your local utility of your intended work activity, you’re taking the first step to insure your safety and the safety of your crew. When and where necessary, the following can then occur:

1. Coordination of work schedules.
2. Identification of temporary mechanical barriers to prevent contact with the lines.
3. Temporary de-energizing and grounding of
lines.
4. Temporary raising or moving of lines.

Failure to comply

Any party working within 10 feet of an overhead line without notifying the proper utility and establishing required safety precautions, will be held directly responsible for all financial consequences of an electrical accident. Failure to comply with this rule can carry a penalty of up to $70,000 for each offense in addition to the cost of injuries and repairs.
see: http://www.pacific-power.com/File/File18254.pdf

[This message has been edited by Bill Addiss (edited 01-31-2005).]


#47984 - 02/01/05 12:08 AM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
Bill Addiss  Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,875
NY, USA
Looks like 6 foot min. rule in California:
http://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/2946.html


#47985 - 02/01/05 12:26 AM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
e57  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
S.F.,CA USA
These are the cops you want.... But, its not the freindliest thing to do, (buisiness wise) but the right thing to do if want them to live if they don't hold off.
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/Complaint.htm

Fremont CalOSHA
39141 Civic Center Dr.
Suite 310
Fremont, CA 94538-5818
510-794-2521
Fax 510-794-3889


[This message has been edited by e57 (edited 01-31-2005).]


Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#47986 - 02/01/05 01:40 AM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
caselec  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558
San Jose, CA
Thanks for the replies and info. I talked to the GC a little while ago and he said the owner was going to talk to the framing contractor tomorrow morning. I hope they make a smart decision and stay away from this area until we can get these lines relocated. Mark, this afternoon I mentioned to the GC that CalOSHA would quickly put an end to this but I would rather make that call if I don’t have too. The property owner and GC will know that I’m the one who called if either the utility or CalOSH show up at the site to look at this.

Curt


Curt Swartz

#47987 - 02/01/05 04:29 AM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
e57  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
S.F.,CA USA
Curt,
I think you meant to say, "I would rather (NOT) make that call if I don’t have too."

I completely understand! Its a tough call to make. Relationships can sour after that. Not to metion all of the whipering... "Isn't that the guy who called OSHA on whats-his-face?"

CalOSHA can be a bit extreme in enforcement after an accident. I was on a job years ago that had a lot of really crazy things happening on it. And just so happens one of thier offices was right next-door in Berkley. A storm came in and knocked 5 stories of (un-tied) scaffolding off the job in thier parking lot, and an Avis rent a car lot too. They had the whole office out there in hard-hats and note-pads for weeks. It was a circus field trip for them.
There were some light fines, of the wrist slap variety, and long lectures to the GC's and subs. But considering, not that bad.

How-ever, if there had been a death involved, they go after people like pack of rotwiellers. Seek criminal prosicution etc. NOT funny! Something to remind these people about... They can be held criminally responcable if someone gets electricuted. And as "Electrician" and/or resident expert on-site about electrical hazards, I would not be caught within site of that place until it gets corrected.

CalOSHA do have an interesting "Consultation" Program you might want to read up on. You call for an appointment for an "On-Site Evaluation", and they come outand see this operation with people having lunch with HV lines at eye-level. They write you a little report card that says WTF! And they can't do anything, (Like fine you) as you called them for a "Consultation". But the site of the CalOSHA logo would certainly shape a few people up I think.
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/consDSL.ram


Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#47988 - 02/01/05 05:11 AM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
pdh  Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 354
Please have the homeowner take a look at these incident reports:

http://tinyurl.com/5harq


#47989 - 02/01/05 12:39 PM Re: Accident Waiting to Happen  
caselec  Offline
Member
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558
San Jose, CA
Mark, you are correct that it should have said NOT. I edited the message before posting it and somehow deleted the not. I’m probably not going to get a chance to drop by this project today but hopefully the owner will do what he said he would and have the framers stop working in this area.


Curt Swartz

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