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Policies Part 19 Contents

WORKING CLOSE TO ENERGIZED HIGH VOLTAGE EQUIPMENT AND CONDUCTORS

R19.25-1 RE: Electrical Safety - Working Close to Energized High Voltage Equipment and Conductors

TREE PRUNING AND FALLING NEAR ENERGIZED CONDUCTOR

R19.30-1 RE: Electrical Safety - Tree Pruning and Falling Near Energized Conductor - Preliminary Inspection

Policies Part 19 - Working Close to Energized High Voltage Equipment and Conductors

Policy Item R19.25-1
RE: Electrical Safety - Working Close to Energized High Voltage Equipment and Conductors

BACKGROUND
1. Explanatory Notes
Section 19.24.1 requires, in part, that employers ensure that a specified minimum distance is maintained between high voltage electrical equipment and conductors and workplace equipment. If this specified minimum safe distance cannot be maintained, section 19.25 requires that an employer must obtain a written assurance of certain matters from a representative of the power system.

2. The Regulation
Section 19.24.1:

Subject to section 19.24.2, or unless otherwise permitted by this Part, if exposed electrical equipment or conductors at a workplace have a voltage within a range set out in Column 1 of Table 19-1A, the following must remain at least the distance from the exposed electrical equipment and conductors that is set out in Column 2 opposite that range of voltage:

(a) a person working at the workplace;

(b) a tool, a machine, material or equipment at the workplace.

Table 19-1A
Column 1
Voltage
Column 2
Minimum approach distance for working close to exposed electrical equipment or conductors
Phase to phase Metres Feet
Over 750 V to 75 kV 3 10
Over 75 kV to 250 kV 4.5 15
Over 250 kV to 550 kV 6 20

Section 19.25, in part:

(1) If the minimum distance in Table 19-1A cannot be maintained because of the circumstances of work or the inadvertent movement of persons or equipment, an assurance in writing on a form acceptable to the Board and signed by a representative of the owner of the power system, must be obtained.

(2) The assurance must state that while the work is being done the electrical equipment and conductors will be displaced or rerouted from the work area, if practicable.

(3) If compliance with subsection (2) is not practicable the assurance must state that the electrical equipment will be isolated and grounded, but if isolation and grounding is not practicable the assurance must state that the electrical equipment will be visually identified and guarded.

POLICY
The minimum distances specified in section 19.24.1 and Table 19-1A must be taken into account when planning the operation of a crane or other equipment close to overhead electrical conductors. If the operation is planned with due regard to the environmental conditions, the condition of the equipment, the capability of the operators, and the movement of material, so that no part of the equipment, workers, or material come within the stipulated minimum distance, an assurance in writing under section 19.25(1) is not required.

For the purposes of section 19.24.1, if no other effective means is provided to assist the operator of a tower crane in maintaining the minimum distance:

  • the crane must have a marker placed at an appropriate position on the jib; and
  • the employer must specifically instruct the operator that, when the jib is in a position such that the load line could enter within the minimum applicable distance, the trolley must be positioned only on the mast side of the marker.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 29, 2003
AUTHORITY: ss.19.25 and 19.24.1, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
CROSS REFERENCES:  
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective February 1, 2011 to reflect regulation changes effective on that date.
Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Effective April 1, 2001, this Item replaced Policy No. 24.04(1) of the former Prevention Division Policy and Procedure Manual. Effective October 29, 2003, the policy incorporated a paragraph from Item R14.53-1 which was deleted in response to the duplication and redundancy package of regulatory amendments.
APPLICATION: This policy applies to all instances where workplace equipment comes in close proximity to high voltage electrical equipment and conductors on and after October 29, 2003.

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Policies Part 19 - Tree Pruning and Falling Near Energized Conductor

Policy Item R19.30-1
RE: Electrical Safety - Tree Pruning and Falling Near Energized Conductor - Preliminary Inspection

BACKGROUND
1. Explanatory Notes
Section 19.30 sets out requirements for preliminary inspections to identify hazardous areas prior to commencing tree-pruning and falling near energized conductors. Included in the inspection is whether any part of the tree to be pruned or felled is, or may be, within the minimum distance specified in Section 19.24.1 and Table 19-1A.

2. The Regulation
Section 19.30:

(1) Before commencing tree pruning or falling close to energized high voltage overhead conductors, the worksite must be inspected by a qualified person, authorized by the owner of the power system, to identify any hazardous areas, including situations where any part of a tree to be pruned or felled is within the applicable minimum distance from an energized conductor as specified in Table 19-1A, or may fall within that distance.

(2) Immediately before commencing work, an inspection must be performed by a qualified person to verify the results of the initial inspection done under subsection (1) are still valid.

Section 19.24.1:

Subject to section 19.24.2, or unless otherwise permitted by this Part, if exposed electrical equipment or conductors at a workplace have a voltage within a range set out in Column 1 of Table 19-1A, the following must remain at least the distance from the exposed electrical equipment and conductors that is set out in Column 2 opposite that range of voltage:

(a) a person working at the workplace;

(b) a tool, a machine, material or equipment at the workplace.

Table 19-1A
Column 1
Voltage
Column 2
Minimum approach distance for working close to exposed electrical equipment or conductors
Phase to phase Metres Feet
Over 750 V to 75 kV 3 10
Over 75 kV to 250 kV 4.5 15
Over 250 kV to 550 kV 6 20

POLICY
Tree trimmers intending to work close to energized high voltage lines must call the utility to request a qualified person to perform the preliminary inspection under section 19.30(1). The following guidelines are to be used in determining if tree-trimming is close to energized high voltage overhead conductors:

  • any part of the tree, as it stands near an energized line, is within the general limits of approach specified in section 19.24.1;
  • any branches are above an energized line in such a way that any severed portion may fall within the general limits of approach of section 19.24.1; or
  • any contemplated topping operation will produce a cut length capable of extending from the tree to within the limits of approach of section 19.24.1.

EFFECTIVE DATE: April 1, 2001
AUTHORITY: ss.19.30 and 19.24.1, Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
CROSS REFERENCES:  
HISTORY: Housekeeping changes effective February 1, 2011 to reflect regulation changes effective on that date.
Housekeeping changes effective September 15, 2010 to delete practice reference and make formatting changes.
Replaces Policy No. 24.08(1) of the Prevention Division Policy and Procedure Manual
APPLICATION: This Item results from the 2000/2001 "editorial" consolidation of all prevention policies into the Prevention Manual. The POLICY in this Item merely continues the substantive requirements of Policy No. 24.08(1), as they existed prior to the Effective Date, with any wording changes necessary to reflect legislative and regulatory changes since Policy No. 24.08(1) was issued.

Disclaimer: The Workers' Compensation Board of B.C. ("WorkSafeBC") publishes the online version Occupational Health and Safety Regulation ("OHS Regulation") in accordance with its mandate under the Workers Compensation Act to provide information and promote public awareness of occupational health and safety matters. The online OHS Regulation is not the official version of the OHS Regulation, which may be purchased from Crown Publications. WorkSafeBC endeavours to update the online OHS Regulation as soon as possible following any legislative amendments. However, WorkSafeBC does not warrant the accuracy or the completeness of the online OHS Regulation, and neither WorkSafeBC nor its board of directors, employees or agents shall be liable to any person for any loss or damage of any nature, whether arising out of negligence or otherwise, arising from the use of the online OHS Regulation. Employers are legally obligated to make a copy of the Workers Compensation Act and the OHS Regulation readily available for review by workers. The circumstances under which WorkSafeBC may consider an employer's providing access to electronic versions of the Act and OHS Regulation to have satisfied this obligation are described in Guideline G-D3-115(2)(f).