Forklifts and Power Lines

Power Line

How Can You Avoid a Situation Like This?

Power lines are hazardous no matter what you do for a living. However, for the forklift operator, they pose an even greater threat. Because forklifts are taller than your average car, it is much easier for them to become entangled with power lines. In fact, it should come as no surprise that one of the leading causes for forklift-related injuries and death involves electric shock resulting from power lines. Power lines, and often will cause fires as well. This post addresses what you should do in the event that you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of coming into contact with a power line.

Stay put

If your forklift hits a power line, the most important thing to remember is to stay in place. You will likely feel an instinctive need to get out of the vehicle and call for help, but it is absolutely imperative that you remain seated. Leaving the cab can result in electric shock. If you do leave the cab, by all means make sure that you do not touch the forklift itself. If at all possible, try and move the forklift off of the power line. Unfortunately, even in cases where the forklift is not physically touching the power line, it is still possible to get electrocuted via electric arc (also known as arc discharge.)

Know your terrain: Stay clear of power lines

In truth, the best way of dealing with power lines is to prevent incidents from happening in the first place. Know where power lines are located and be sure that you are not working near them. If you have done your homework, there is virtually no chance that you will find yourself face-to-face with a power line. Still in the event that you are within 4 meters of a down power line, be sure to contact the Electric Supply Authority and remedy the situation.

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