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Subchapter 5. Electrical Safety Orders
Group 2. High-Voltage Electrical Safety Orders
Article 38. Line Clearance Tree Trimming Operations (Formerly Article 87)

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§2951. Line Clearance (Tree Trimming) Operations.

(a) Prior to commencing line clearance tree trimming operations, the employer shall ensure that an inspection of the work locations is made in order to identify potential hazards and a tail gate briefing is conducted to discuss the work procedures to be followed. A determination shall be made of the nominal voltage of electric power lines posing a hazard to employees. However, a determination of the maximum nominal voltage to which an employee will be exposed may be made instead, if all lines are considered as energized at this maximum voltage.
(b) Only qualified line clearance tree trimmers, or trainees under the direct supervision and instruction of qualified line clearance tree trimmers, shall be permitted to perform line clearance tree trimming operations as described in Section 2950. Under no circumstances shall the minimum approach distances specified in Section 2940.2, be violated.
(c) The employee in charge of each independent crew shall coordinate the de-energizing and re-energizing of high-voltage lines with the operator of the high-voltage line(s).
(d) During all tree trimming operations performed in accordance with the requirements of subsection (b) above, there shall be another qualified line clearance tree trimmer or trainee within normal (that is, unassisted) voice communication at each work location to render immediate assistance.
NOTE: A qualified high-voltage electrical worker shall be permitted to be the second employee, provided the employee doing the line clearance tree trimming is a qualified line clearance tree trimmer.
(e) Branches contacting energized conductors or equipment shall be removed only by using nonconductive equipment.
(f) With the exception of emergency restoration procedures, line clearance tree trimming work shall not be performed when adverse weather conditions such as thunderstorms in the immediate vicinity, high winds, snow storms or ice storms, make the work hazardous in spite of the work practices required by this section.
NOTE: A high wind is one which would expose an employee to being blown from an elevated location, or cause an employee or material handling equipment to lose control of the material being handled, or expose the employee to other hazards not controlled by the requirements of this section. Winds exceeding 40 miles per hour, or 30 miles per hour if material handling is involved, meet this criteria unless precautions are taken to protect employees from the hazards described herein.
(g) Ladders, platforms and aerial devices shall not be brought closer to an energized part than the distances listed in Section 2940.2.
(h) Sprayers and Related Equipment.
(1) Walking and working surfaces of sprayers and related equipment shall be covered with slip-resistant material. If slipping hazards cannot be eliminated, slip-resistant footwear or handrails and stair rails meeting the requirements of Section 3214 of the General Industry Safety Orders may be used instead of slip-resistant material.
(2) Equipment on which employees stand to spray while the vehicle is in motion shall be equipped with guardrails around the working area. The guardrail shall be constructed in accordance with the requirements of Article 2, Section 3209 of the General Industry Safety Orders.
(i) Rope.
(1) When stored, rope shall be coiled and piled, or shall be suspended, so that air can circulate through the coils.
(2) A rope that is wet, that is contaminated to the extent that its insulating capacity is impaired, or that is otherwise not considered to be insulated for the voltage involved shall not be used near exposed energized lines.
Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.
1. Amendment filed 12-10-87; operative 1-9-88 (Register 88, No. 1).
2. New subsection (e) and following Note filed 12-12-94; operative 1-11-95 (Register 94, No. 50).
3. New subsection (c) and subsection relettering filed 11-19-97; operative 12-19-97 (Register 97, No. 47).
4. Amendment of section heading and subsections (a), (b) and (d) and new subsections (g)-(i)(2) filed 2-27-2018; operative 4-1-2018 (Register 2018, No. 9).

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