New rules for California ENG safety kick in

ENG crews in California using vehicles built after Dec. 18, 2003, are now subject to new safety requirements designed to prevent contact with high-power lines
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One new California OSHA Board safety rule requires a convenient spotlight to illuminate the night sky above a ENG mast that’s being raised. (Photo courtesy: E-N-G Mobile Systems)

As of late last year, newer ENG vehicles on the roads of California are subject to new state regulations intended to keep station personnel safe from accidental contact with overhead power lines.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board rules apply to all ENG vehicles manufactured prior to Dec. 18, 2003, which operate in the state after mid-December 2004.

Among the rules are provisions requiring:

  • A positive means, like momentary contact switches, to raise and rotate masts and dishes, located to assure that the person raising or rotating the antenna “continuously and responsibly observe” what’s overhead;
  • A level indicator to show if the vehicle is level front to rear;
  • A spotlight of “functionally equivalent means” to help operators see overhead hazards in the dark;
  • Audible and visual warnings to indicate the vehicle is moving while the mast or dish are now stowed. The visual warning must occur when the antenna is not stowed and the engine is running. Vehicle movement with unstowed antennas must trigger an 80-85dB non-cancelable alarm;
  • Warning signs and safety manuals.

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