The following recommendations will help prevent deaths and injuries resulting from contact between metal ladders and overhead power lines:
NIOSH recommends that employers and workers comply with the OSHA regulation prohibiting the use of portable metal or conductive ladders for electrical work or in locations where they may contact electrical conductors. Nonconductive ladders such as those made of wood or fiberglass should be used instead. Employers should fully inform workers about the hazards of using portable metal (including aluminum) ladders near energized power lines. If portable metal ladders are used in the vicinity of energized power lines, NIOSH urges that all employers and workers strictly adhere to the OSHA safety regulations for providing proper balancing and securing of ladders, and for maintaining safe working distances to avoid contact with electrical conductors. To assure proper protection for anyone working near electrical power lines, arrangements should be made with the power company to de-energize the lines or to cover the lines with insulating line hoses or blankets. Employers should provide workers with training in emergency medical procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Fatalities may be prevented by prompt emergency medical care.
Portable ladders in use shall be tied, blocked, or otherwise secured to prevent their being displaced.