How to Paint Around Power Lines


Painting around power lines has been fatal in recorded cases throughout the United States. Preventing injury is key. Use a check list of the safety regulations when setting up a project to help ensure no one will be injured. Become educated in safety precautions to avoid injuries and careless mishaps. Schedule the project when weather conditions are stable and the forecast is good.

  • Contact the power company ahead of time to make arrangements to power down the lines. Inform the staff of your intention and request a temporary shut down of the power line, if possible, or arrange for the use of insulated hoses or blankets to prevent injury.

  • Do not use metal scaffolds or ladders when working near power lines. U.S. Occupational Safety & Hazard Administration regulations forbid use of ladders made of metal, or that are otherwise conductive, near power lines. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends removing all excess ground debris to prevent tripping or falling accidents near or around the lines. Never climb on electric utility structures or reach into electric utility enclosures and never climb trees that are near power lines or electric utility poles.

  • Do not work during unsafe weather conditions. Wind and rain can cause unsafe working conditions that cause people or equipment to fall and come in contact with power lines. Rescheduling if weather becomes a safety hazard may save a life. Good weather conditions promote an optimal working environment and may prevent accidents.

  • Prepare for medical emergencies. Create a short list of emergency responders and others to contact immediately if there is an injury. Make sure a friend or family member knows your plans and anticipated work schedule.

  • Wear apparel that is nonconductive and avoid all direct contact with power lines. If any electrical work is going to be required, make sure it is done by a trained and licensed electrician.


  • Photo Credit power line image by Adkok from
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