If any equipment comes into contact with overhead or underground electric lines, consider the equipment energized. Equipment that can be especially hazardous around overhead utility lines includes, but is not limited to, cranes, excavators, well-drilling rigs and hauling equipment. In addition, pipe pushers, hand tools, earth movers, graders, air hammers and oil rig drills could all accidentally contact power lines.
If equipment becomes energized by contact with a power line, follow these procedures:
- Contact CenterPoint Energy immediately. Call 713-207-2222 in Houston, or the nearest CenterPoint Energy office. Tell them the site location and whether the situation is life-threatening.
- Until the area is de-energized, make sure someone guards the site to warn others away from the area. Keep people clear of the energized equipment, any fallen power lines or other objects touching them.
- If it can be done safely, the equipment operator should attempt to break contact with the overhead or underground line by moving the equipment away from the area. Consider all lines to be potential hazards. A power line that appears harmless may be energized.
- If electrical contact occurs, consider the equipment energized. The equipment operator on the rig is usually safe, as long as he remains away from ground contact. If the operator must leave the equipment, he should jump entirely free of the machinery. Body contact with the machine and the ground, simultaneously, could be fatal.
- If a shock victim is clear of the equipment or wires, first aid may be necessary. While waiting for medical assistance, if you are trained, provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the victim if necessary. Work quickly, as any delays can decrease the chance of reviving the victim.