The Dangers Of Overhead Power Lines Best Practices

Every year people at work are killed or seriously injured when they come into contact with live overhead electricity power lines.

If a machine, scaffold tube, ladder, or even a jet of water touches or gets too close to an overhead wire, then electricity will be conducted to earth. This can cause a fire or explosion and electric shock and burn injuries to anyone touching the machine or equipment. An overhead wire does not need to be touched to cause serious injury or death as electricity can jump, or arc, across small gaps.

One of the biggest problems is that people simply do not notice overhead lines when they are tired, rushing or cutting corners. They can be difficult to spot, eg in foggy or dull conditions, when they blend into the surroundings at the edge of woodland, or when they are running parallel to, or under, other lines. Always assume that a power line is live unless and until the owner of the line has confirmed that it is dead. This guidance is for people who may be planning to work near overhead lines

where there is a risk of contact with the wires, and describes the steps you should take to prevent contact with them. It is primarily aimed at employers and employees who are supervising or in control of work near live overhead lines, but it will also be useful for those who are carrying out the work.

Types of overhead power lines

Most overhead lines have wires supported on metal towers/pylons or wooden poles – they are often called ‘transmission lines’ or ‘distribution lines’. Most high-voltage overhead lines, ie greater than 1000 V (1000 V = 1 kV) have wires that are bare and insulate but some have wires with a light plastic covering or coating. All high-voltage lines should be treated as though they are uninsulated. While many low-voltage overhead lines (ie less than 1 kV) have bare insulate wires, some have wires covered with insulating material. However, this insulation can sometimes be in poor condition or, with some older lines, it may not act as effective insulation; in these cases you should treat the line in the same way as an insulate line. If in any doubt, you should take a precautionary approach and consult the owner of the line.

There is a legal minimum height for overhead lines which varies according to the voltage carried. Generally, the higher the voltage, the higher the wires will need to be above ground. Equipment such as transformers and fuses attached to wooden poles and other types of supports will often be below these heights. There are also recommended minimum clearances published by the Energy Networks Association.

What does the law require?

The law requires that work may be carried out in close proximity to live overhead lines only when there is no alternative and only when the risks are acceptable and can be properly controlled. You should use this guidance to prepare a risk assessment that is specific to the site. Businesses and employees who work near to an overhead line must manage the risks. Overhead line owners have a duty to minimize the risks from their lines and, when consulted, advise others on how to control the risks. The line owner will usually be an electricity company, known as a transmission or distribution network operator, but could also be another type of organization, eg Network Rail, or a local owner, eg the operator of a caravan park.

Preventing overhead line contact

Good management, planning and consultation with interested parties before and during any work close to overhead lines will reduce the risk of accidents. This applies whatever type of work is being planned or undertaken, even if the work is temporary or of short duration. You should manage the risks if you intend to work within a distance of 10 m, measured at ground level horizontally from below the nearest wire.

Remove the risk, the most effective way to prevent contact with overhead lines is by not carrying out work where there is a risk of contact with, or close approach to, the wires. Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. If you cannot avoid working near an overhead line and there is a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, you should consult its owner to find out if the line can be permanently diverted away from the work area or replaced with underground cables. This will often be inappropriate for infrequent, short-duration or transitory work. If this cannot be done and there remains a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, find out if the overhead line can be temporarily switched off while the work is being done. The owner of the line will need time to consider and act upon these types of requests and may levy a charge for any work done.

Risk control

If the overhead line cannot be diverted or switched off, and there is no alternative to carrying out the work near it, you will need to think about how the work can be done safely. If it cannot be done safely, it should not be done at all. Your site-specific risk assessment will inform the decision. Things to consider as part of your risk assessment include:

the voltage and height above ground of the wires. Their height should be measured by a suitably trained person using non-contact measuring devices;
the nature of the work and whether it will be carried out close to or underneath the overhead line, including whether access is needed underneath the wires;
the size and reach of any machinery or equipment to be used near the overhead line;
the safe clearance distance needed between the wires and the machinery or equipment and any structures being erected. If in any doubt, the overhead line’s owner will be able to advise you on safe clearance distances;the site conditions, undulating terrain may affect stability of plant etc;
the competence, supervision and training of people working at the site.

If the line can only be switched off for short periods, schedule the passage of tall plant and, as far as is possible, other work around the line for those times. Do not store or stack items so close to overhead lines that the safety clearances can be infringed by people standing on them.

Working near but not underneath overhead lines – the use of barriers. Where there will be no work or passage of machinery or equipment under the line, you can reduce the risk of accidental contact by erecting ground-level barriers to establish a safety zone to keep people and machinery away from the wires. This area should not be used to store materials or machinery. Suitable barriers can be constructed out of large steel drums filled with rubble, concrete blocks, wire fence earthed at both ends, or earth banks marked with posts.

If steel drums are used, highlight them by painting them with, for example, red and white horizontal stripes.
If a wire fence is used, put red and white flags on the fence wire.
Make sure the barriers can be seen at night, perhaps by using white or fluorescent paint or attaching reflective strips.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

The safety zone should extend 6 m horizontally from the nearest wire on either side of the overhead line. You may need to increase this width on the advice of the line owner or to allow for the possibility of a jib or other moving part encroaching into the safety zone. It may be possible to reduce the width of the safety zone but you will need to make sure that there is no possibility of encroachment into the safe clearance distances in your risk assessment.

Where plant such as a crane is operating in the area, additional high-level indication should be erected to warn the operators. A line of colored plastic flags or ‘bunting’ mounted 3-6 m above ground level over the barriers is suitable. Take care when erecting bunting and flags to avoid contact or approach near the wires. Passing underneath overhead lines, if equipment or machinery capable of breaching the safety clearance distance has to pass underneath the overhead line, you will need to create a passageway through the barriers, In this situation:

keep the number of passageways to a minimum;
define the route of the passageway using fences and erect goalposts at each end to act as gateways using a rigid, non-conducting material, eg timber or plastic pipe, for the goalposts, highlighted with, for example, red and white stripes;
if the passageway is too wide to be spanned by a rigid non-conducting goalpost, you may have to use tensioned steel wire, earthed at each end, or plastic ropes with bunting attached. These should be positioned further away from the overhead line to prevent them being stretched and the safety clearances being reduced by plant moving towards the line;
ensure the surface of the passageway is leveled, formed-up and well maintained to prevent undue tilting or bouncing of the equipment;
put warning notices at either side of the passageway, on or near the goalposts and on approaches to the crossing giving the crossbar clearance height and instructing drivers to lower jibs, booms, tipper bodies etc and to keep below this height while crossing;
you may need to illuminate the notices and crossbar at night, or in poor weather conditions, to make sure they are visible;
make sure that the barriers and goalposts are maintained.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

On a construction site, the use of goalpost-controlled crossing points will generally apply to all plant movements under the overhead line. Working underneath overhead lines. Where work has to be carried out close to or underneath overhead lines, eg road works, pipe laying, grass cutting, farming, and erection of structures, and there is no risk of accidental contact or safe clearance distances being breached, no further precautionary measures are required. However, your risk assessment must take into account any situations that could lead to danger from the overhead wires. For example, consider whether someone may need to stand on top of a machine or scaffold platform and lift a long item above their head, or if the combined height of a load on a low lorry breaches the safe clearance distance. If this type of situation could exist, you will need to take precautionary measures.

If you cannot avoid transitory or short-duration, ground-level work where there is a risk of contact from, for example, the upward movement of cranes or tipper trailers or people carrying tools and equipment, you should carefully assess the risks and precautionary measures. Find out if the overhead line can be switched off for the duration of the work. If this cannot be done:

refer to the Energy Networks Association (ENA) publication Look Out Look Up! A Guide to the Safe Use of Mechanical Plant in the Vicinity of Electricity Overhead Lines.2 This advises establishing exclusion zones around the line and any other equipment that may be fitted to the pole or pylon. The minimum extent of these zones varies according to the voltage of the line, as follows:
– low-voltage line – 1 m;
– 11 kV and 33 kV lines – 3 m;
– 132 kV line – 6 m;
– 275 kV and 400 kV lines – 7 m;
under no circumstances must any part of plant or equipment such as ladders, poles and hand tools be able to encroach within these zones. Allow for uncertainty in measuring the distances and for the possibility of unexpected movement of the equipment due, for example, to wind conditions;
carry long objects horizontally and close to the ground and position vehicles so that no part can reach into the exclusion zone, even when fully extended. Machinery such as cranes and excavators should be modified by adding physical restraints to prevent them reaching into the exclusion zone. Note that insulating guards and/or proximity warning devices fitted to the plant without other safety precautions are not adequate protection on their own;
make sure that workers, including any contractors, understand the risks and are provided with instructions about the risk prevention measures;
arrange for the work to be directly supervised by someone who is familiar with the risks and can make sure that the required safety precautions are observed;
if you are in any doubt about the use of exclusion zones or how to interpret the ENA document, you should consult the owner of the overhead line.

Where buildings or structures are to be erected close to or underneath an overhead line, the risk of contact is increased because of the higher likelihood of safety clearances being breached. This applies to the erection of permanent structures and temporary ones such as polytunnels, tents, marquees, flagpoles, rugby posts, telescopic aerials etc. In many respects these temporary structures pose a higher risk because the work frequently involves manipulating long conducting objects by hand.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. The overhead line owner will be able to advise on the separation between the line and structures, for example buildings using published standards such as ENA Technical Specification 43-8 Overhead Line Clearances.1 However, you will need to take precautions during the erection of the structure. Consider erecting a horizontal barrier of timber or other insulating material beneath the overhead line to form a roof over the construction area – in some cases an earthed, steel net could be used. This should be carried out only with the agreement of the overhead line owner, who may need to switch off the line temporarily for the barrier to be erected and dismantled safely.

Ideally, work should not take place close to or under an overhead line during darkness or poor visibility conditions. Dazzle from portable or vehicle lighting can obscure rather than show up power lines. Sometimes, work needs to be carried out near uninsulated low-voltage overhead wires, or near wires covered with a material that does not provide effective insulation, connected to a building. Examples of such work are window cleaning, external painting or short-term construction work. If it is not possible to re-route or have the supply turned off, the line’s owner, eg the distribution network operator, may be able to fit temporary insulating shrouds to the wires, for which a charge may be levied. People, plant and materials still need to be kept away from the lines.

Emergency procedures

If someone or something comes into contact with an overhead line, it is important that everyone involved knows what action to take to reduce the risk of anyone sustaining an electric shock or burn injuries. Key points are:

never touch the overhead line’s wires;
assume that the wires are live, even if they are not arcing or sparking, or if they
otherwise appear to be dead;
remember that, even if lines are dead, they may be switched back on either automatically after a few seconds or remotely after a few minutes or even hours if the line’s owner is not aware that their line has been damaged:
if you can, call the emergency services. Give them your location, tell them what has happened and that electricity wires are involved, and ask them to contact the line’s owner:
if you are in contact with, or close to, a damaged wire, move away as quickly as possible and stay away until the line’s owner advises that the situation has been made safe:
if you are in a vehicle that has touched a wire, either stay in the vehicle or, if you need to get out, jump out of it as far as you can. Do not touch the vehicle while standing on the ground. Do not return to the vehicle until it has been confirmed that it is safe to do so;

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines, be aware that if a live wire is touching the ground the area around it may be live. Keep a safe distance away from the wire or anything else it may be touching and keep others away.

Getting a Trustworthy Lawyer Referral

If you happen to be on the hunt for a New York defense lawyer, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed about where to begin. With so many advertisements online for defense lawyers, how are you supposed to know which one is the best for you? You might turn to an organization called the Bar Association of New York Legal Referral Service, or LRIS.

The New York Bar’s LRIS was founded in 1870 and is intended to be a trustworthy service for residents looking to find qualified New York attorneys to hire. Every single attorney that they recommend has been screened and deemed qualified and capable in their ability as a legal representative.

Simply visit their website, at nycbar site, and select the option for “Legal Referral” – the first option on the tool bar at the top of the page – or the “Looking for a lawyer?” link in the body of the page.

After clicking one of the previous links, you will be taken to a page where you are requested to type in your phone number. Soon after you submit your contact information, a referral counselor will contact you as soon as possible. You will be asked to give them your personal information. They will also ask what type of case you will be dealing with so they can try to find a lawyer who specializes in that type of suit.

Whether you are in need of a New York criminal defense lawyer, or for any other matter, it will be your responsibility to make contact. Whilst they will be informed of the referral, they will not make any attempt to contact you.

Some people may not feel comfortable speaking about legal matters over the phone. In which case, you can choose to go through the online referral process. You should receive contact information through e-mail within about a day’s time.

You may be surprised and please to find out that the New York LRIS service is offered free of charge, therefore there’s really nothing holding you back from finding the best lawyer to defend you!

Free Cash Grants to Upgrade Your Home

Home owners who want to upgrade their home with new equipment and appliances can apply for home improvement grants, which can provide you with the cash you need to purchase and install your upgrades. Particularly if you would like to use more energy efficient products and models, there are a number of government and private foundation grants that can help you pay for those changes.

Once you search the grant database, you’ll quickly realize there are many programs that you may qualify for. Review the eligibility requirements, submit your application, and wait to see if you are approved. Once approved, you’ll not only get the cash you need to assist you with your home improvement projects, but you’ll never have to pay the money back.

There are also tax credits that you can receive for using energy efficient products. That’s why it may cost you a little money up-front to install and purchase new equipment and appliances, but there could be a greater savings on the backed. Particularly if you are receiving free grant money to help you finance the entire project.

But just because the grants are available does not mean you automatically are entitled to receive them. There is an application process and approval process, but there is also a way to put the odds in your favor. Learn these ticks to put your grant application in a favorable position, and there is a lot of money that you may be able to qualify to receive. There is no limit on the number of grants you can apply for and receive either.

Quick Facts on HIPPA Violations

HIPPA is an abbreviation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and was introduced by the congress in 1996. This rule assures that a person is given good and quality health coverage even amid jobs. As soon as a person quits a job, he looses the insurance cover completely and the new assurance company considers illness if any as pre-existing and gives a very low coverage or nothing, prior this law. For instance, consider a person who suffers from diabetes and is under medication, the new company will consider this as pre-existing and will not pay for medicines.

The main goal of HIPPA law is to make health care simpler and maintain the security of patient’s medical information. If you feel that your health care provider has breached privacy, you can certainly take it legal provided all are in records and it can be reported to the state insurance commissioner.

There are different circumstances under which the law is infringed. The health care provider or the insurance company might violate HIPPA without even knowing what it is. At times there could be a valid reason for going against the same and not due to negligence. HIPPA violation due to unruly slackness, but corrected within a period of time receives a high penalty and willful negligence not at all corrected and repeated often is given the maximum sentence. Whatever it is when there is a breach of any kind that comes under this act; record all conversation.

A case can also be filed under criminal penalty if the health care provider or the insurance company discloses your personal health information knowingly for money. Selling it to a third party for any reason or for personal gains which can cause harm is offensive. They face a fine of up to $50,000 and detention for a year, but however no private cause of action is taken against the person who disobeyed.

The Apartment Market in Tel Aviv – Real Estate Agencies Point of View

There are fraudulent dealings – closed-in verandas or kitchens are transformed into residential units, small apartments divided into even smaller units of 18-20 sq.m, providing good money for the property owner, much more than from an original apartment not divided up.

Many Real Estate agents and property entrepreneurs maintain this trend must be restricted. Aside from an ethical aspect, life quality of other residents is affected in these apartment buildings where divided-up units lead to over-populated buildings, over-use of the elevator in relation to number of apartments, lack of parking space and decrease of real estate value of other apartments in the building.

This causes decline in sale and market value of apartments in these buildings. This is another reason for the raised voices from residents in this type of apartment building.

Tel Aviv municipality, agents and property entrepreneurs can tell you that the above-described fraudulent dealings are illegal. In practice, when residents complain, the municipal law enforcement department takes action in cases of dividing apartments . If the building is still in the process of being constructed it is simpler to demolish them; buildings that have been in the market for several years are more difficult to deal with.

In general, do not deal with apartments of this type.

Most apartments are rented directly from the apartment owner: i.e. the renter.
Besides this, there is not much profit for agents in a deal like this when compared with the profit from sale of a new apartment. Many agents companies prefer to seize exclusive and imposing projects from which they earn fat commission.