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Subchapter 5. Electrical Safety Orders

Group 2. High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders

Article 40. Electronic News Gathering

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§2981. Provisions for Preventing Accidents Due to Operation of Electronic News Gathering Vehicles in Proximity of Overhead Power Lines.

(a) Positive means, such as momentary contact (continuous pressure) switches, shall be used to raise or rotate elevating antennas, such as microwave masts, dishes, or similar structures. The switch shall be located to assure that personnel operating the elevating antenna will be where they can continuously and responsibly observe the environment overhead during the raising or rotating operation.

(b) Level indication devices shall be provided in an observable location on the ENG vehicle to indicate the level of the vehicle front to rear and across the width.

(c) A spotlight or functionally equivalent means of illumination shall be provided on all ENG vehicles equipped with an elevating antenna, such as a microwave mast, dish, or similar structure. Illumination shall be adequate to assist operating personnel in locating overhead hazards, such as power lines within the proximity of the elevating device during periods of darkness or reduced available light.

(d) Audible and visual warnings shall be provided to warn the driver when movement of the ENG vehicle is attempted while the mast, dish, or similar structure (antenna) is not stowed. A visual warning readily observable to the driver shall occur when the engine is running and the antenna is not stowed. A non-cancelable audible alarm with a nominal sound loudness of 80-85dB at the driver's position shall occur when movement of the vehicle is attempted unless the elevating antenna is stowed.

(e) Warning Signs. Each ENG vehicle equipped with elevating mast, dish, antenna, or similar apparatus, shall be posted with durable, permanent warning signs.

(1) A warning sign shall be posted in plain view of the mast operator's position with lettering not less than 1/2 inch in height on a contrasting background reading: “Unlawful to operate this equipment within 10 feet of high-voltage lines of 50,000 volts or less.”

(A) In addition to the above wording, the following statement in small lettering shall be provided on each mast operator warning sign: “For minimum clearances of high-voltage lines in excess of 50,000 volts, see California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Article 37, High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders.”

(2) A warning sign shall be posted in plain view of the mast operator and the ENG vehicle driver with lettering not less than 1/4 inch in height on a contrasting background listing the vehicle heights with the antenna in the raised and stowed positions.

(f) ENG Vehicle Safety Manual:

(1) The owner, agent, or employer responsible for the operations of ENG vehicles shall maintain a durably bound document in each vehicle containing the following information:

(A) How to safely operate the elevating mast or antenna.

(B) Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicle owner/operator's manual.

(C) Predictable hazards associated with ENG vehicles.

(2) Prior to permitting an employee to operate an ENG vehicle, the employer shall ensure that the vehicle operator is familiar with the Vehicle Safety Manual specific to the vehicle they will be operating.

(A) EXCEPTION: Service personnel performing vehicle maintenance functions.

(g) Work performed as described in this Article shall be in accordance with Article 37 of the High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders.

(h) Effective dates:

(1) Provisions of this Section (2981(a)-(f)) shall apply to all ENG vehicles manufactured on or after December 18, 2003, which are operated in California.

(2) Provisions of this Section (2981(a)-(f)) shall apply to all ENG vehicles manufactured prior to December 18, 2003, which are operated in California on or after December 18, 2004.


Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. New section filed 11-18-2002; operative 12-18-2002 (Register 2002, No. 47).

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