South Carolina workers who are driving a tractor-trailer near surface power lines can take steps to increase their safety. In one instance, a tractor-trailer made contact with an overhead ground wire, and while there was damage, no one was injured. However, the Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a “close call alert” and a list of best practices for working near power lines. According to the agency, the truck did not allow sufficient clearance from the power line.
The agency’s best practices recommend awareness of where power lines are located and using a route that avoids them if possible. If this is not possible, then the power lines should be de-energized when equipment is within 10 feet of them. Vehicle operators should keep clearance in mind.
If there is contact with power lines, the driver should remain in the vehicle while the power company is contacted to turn off power. If there is a fire, the driver should get out of the vehicle without coming into contact at any time with both the ground and the vehicle simultaneously.
Most people who are injured on the job, whether it is on a mining or construction site or in an office, are eligible for workers’ compensation. Some workers may be concerned about keeping their job after an injury and might be facing pressure from their employer to not file for benefits. They might want to talk to an employee about their rights. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees for filing for compensation. Furthermore, the employer might mislead employees about their rights to compensation or might simply be uninformed. An employee may need assistance in preparing a workers’ compensation claim or in appealing a denial. A worker may face a challenge proving an injury that developed over time as opposed to one linked to a specific incident.