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Overhead Services and Work

Hazard Related Topics


Safe systems of work must be in place if work is to be carried out that could lead to contact with overhead services i.e. high voltage electricity wires, communication wires or when work is happening overhead, eg loads being lifted by overhead cranes, etc. A full risk assessment needs to have been carried out and safe systems of work need to be implemented. All workers involved in such work should have been properly and adequately informed, instructed, and trained on how to perform their work safely.

Steps must be taken to protect workers from falling material and any lifting operations requiring lifting equipment must be properly planned by a competent person. This worker must be adequately supervised and the process carried out in a safe manner. (LOLER 1998)

Head protection must be worn where there is a foreseeable risk of head injury. This head protection must be provided, maintained, and if necessary replaced (The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989)

Records should be kept of:

  • Significant risk assessment findings
  • Information and plans relating to the location of overhead services in the work vicinity
  • Details of all training, information and instruction provided
  • Safe systems of work procedures

Available from HSE Books

  • L113 Safe use of lifting equipment ACoP
  • GS6 Avoidance of danger from overhead electrical lines
  • PM55 Safe working with overhead travelling cranes
  • SG 93/5 Overhead power lines (Available from the National Association of Scaffolding Contractors, Tel: 020 7580 5588)