10 Foot Rule
Always observe the 10-foot rule. The minimum safe distance from power lines is 10 feet.
- OSHA requires that you keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines. Maintain a minimum 10-foot clearance for power lines of 50,000 volts or less.
- Higher voltages require greater clearances. OSHA regulations specify greater distances for lines of more than 50,000 volts. For example, the minimum clearance for a 500,000-volt line is 18 feet.
- There is no uniform system for identifying power line voltage. When in doubt, contact NIPSCO for clearance information. Their line workers get a lot of specialized training that teaches them to recognize the voltages they’re dealing with at any given site. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can know the appropriate voltage and clearance by looking at a line.
- Electrical safety distances given are minimums. Always use the maximum possible distance. Your best practice is always to stay as far away as possible from power lines and electrical infrastructure.