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Safety Alert. No. 11 June 98. Committed to Safety. Danger of Works Underneath Overhead Power Lines. Background During a recent management site visit at the Mina Al Fahal tank farm, the following near miss was identified.

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Causes of the incident

Safety Alert

No. 11

June 98

Committed to Safety

Danger of Works Underneath Overhead Power Lines


During a recent management site visit at the Mina Al Fahal tank farm, the following near miss was identified.

“Dumping of material from rockbreaking for tank 110 had been ongoing underneath live 33 kV

overhead power cables without the minimum clearance required, putting at risk personnel and


Last month, a High Potential Incident occurred in Marmul when a beam pump being transported on a flat-bed truck came in contact with a 33 kV overhead line, tripping C, A and Gathering stations.

Causes of the incident

An investigation of the coastal near miss incident is presently in progress, but it would appear that the cause

is non compliance with the approved clearance certificate procedure for work in the vicinity or passage

under overhead lines. This is described in the HSE Standards Manual, Chapter 11.

The underlying cause is believed to be that insufficient attention was given to the risks related to the dump

yard activities while supervision focused on the rock cutting site.

Learning Points and Action to Prevent Recurrence

From the above near miss incident, the following learning points have been identified which need urgent


- The PDO Responsible Supervisor for the work (and NOT the Contractor) shall obtain a

clearance certificate from the local PDO Asset Team. The requirement for a PDO clearance

certificate remains the same, irrespective of whether the lines belong to a third party (eg MEW).

- Where possible, overhead power lines should be made DEAD when work is to be carried out

beneath them. If it is not practicable, then strict precautions shall be enforced whilst work is in

progress. The safety precautions shall be closely supervised by the Area Operations Electrical

representative who shall ensure that a minimum vertical safety clearance of 3.5 meters is

maintained at all times.

- Prior to starting any work, a full risk assessment of the activities is required in order to confirm that hazards identified in the HSE work plan are correct. Reference to the HSE Standards Manual content has to be made.

- The PDO Responsible Supervisor shall pay regular visits at site to get opportunities to identify hazards.