Line Clearance

Overhead Line Work » Line-Clearance Tree Trimming Operations

Line-Clearance Tree Trimming Operations

Line-clearance tree trimming refers to the pruning, trimming, repairing, maintaining, removing, or clearing of trees or the cutting of brush that is near (within 10 feet of) energized power lines.. The line-clearance tree trimming equipment requirements apply to qualified employees and line-clearance tree trimmers who are clearing lines with brush clippers, sprayers, stump cutters, chain saws, backpack power cutters, climbing ropes, or safety saddles.

OSHA recognizes three different qualification levels for line-clearance tree trimmers:

Unqualified employees must maintain the minimum approach distances of at least 10 feet from overhead power lines. 

269-qualified employees must use their 269 specific skills and any other tree cutting procedures and training to safely trim trees. 

The minimum approach distances (MAD) for unqualified workers are specified . These MADs start at 10 feet for systems 50kV and below and increase 4 inches for every 10 kV over 50 kV.

Line-clearance tree trimmers are workers that have received specialized training so they can work within 10 feet of energized power lines and equipment. These workers must:

In addition to these specific operational requirements, line-clearance tree trimmers must also:

While line-clearance tree trimmers can work alone, a second line-clearance tree trimmer must be within voice range of the first line-clearance tree trimmer if: