When considering professionals at risk of electrocution from power lines, electricians usually come to mind. Construction workers are also at risk because they often work on the rooftops and upper external walls of buildings at about the same height as connecting power lines. Although these two groups are most at risk, truck drivers aren’t entirely exempt from the possibility of accidental contact with live power lines. Here are four ways it can happen:
Collision with a Power Line in an Accident
This is the most likely electrical injury scenario that truck drivers face. The reason for this is clear enough: power lines typically run alongside most roads and highways where trucking accidents occur. The driver unlucky enough to collide into a utility pole may bring down live power lines on their truck.
Should this happen to you, stay inside your truck until the local utility company says it’s safe to leave. If you must leave because of a fire, don’t touch the ground and your truck at the same time. Instead, jump clear and land on both feet at the same time. Keep them close together while shuffling them a few inches at a time. Alternatively, you can jump to safety while always keeping both feet together.
Power Line Contact with a Dump Truck Bed
Dump truck operators with poor situational awareness have accidentally contacted overhead power lines while raising their beds. This can electrify the entire truck and possibly electrocute the driver, especially when exiting the truck. Negligent drivers may unknowingly drive on a road with their bed in the raised position. The bed can then snag an overhead power line.
Tow Truck Extraction of a Car from a Downed Power Line
Because live wires don’t always spark and smoke, assume that a downed power line and the trapped car are hot. Don’t extract the car until the local utility company turns off the power and says it’s safe. The ground surrounding a live downed power line may be electrified. Keep your distance.
Power Line Contact While Working on Top of a Trailer
Don’t work on top of your truck when a power line is nearby. Accidental contact of the line with a tool, ladder, or other conductor can cause instantaneous death. Note that electrocution can happen without making contact. Electricity from high voltage lines can arc through the air if you get too close.
Exercise caution while around power lines and make sure you have sufficient South Carolina owner operator insurance. For more information or answers to your insurance questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We also provide commercial and owner operator truck insurance in the following states: Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska.