Cranes & Electricity Safety

Cranes and Electricity


Power distribution lines are a major hazard in electrocution of equipment operators.  When power lines are in the area, care must be taken. Below are just a few of the many items to check for crane operation.

If any part of the crane operating within the work zone, could get within 20 feet of a power line (50 feet if >350kV), then one of the following 3 requirements must be met.

  • Contact the utility owner/operator and obtain documentation that the power line has been de-energized and visibly grounded at the worksite.
  • Ensure that no part of the equipment (crane, load line, and load) operates within 20 feet of the power line and implement the Encroachment Prevention Plan Checklist (Attachment A); or
  • Determine the minimum approach distance allowed under the Minimum Clearance Distances Table and determine the lines voltage. If any part of equipment operating within its maximum working radius in the work zone could get closer to the minimum approach distance then implement the Encroachment Prevention Plan Checklist (Attachment A).

Minimum Clearance Distances Table: Set-Up

Voltage (nominal, kV, AC) Minimum clearance distance (feet)
up to 50 10
over 50 to 200 15
over 200 to 350 20
over 350 to 500 25
over 500 to 750 35
over 750 to 1,000 45
over 1,000 ***
***      As established by operator or registered professional engineer who is a qualified person for electrical power transmission and distribution.