ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Guidelines for Public Safety at Hydropower Projects

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 1992

Conditions may exist at or near hydropower facilities that could be dangerous or conducive to accidents that could cause injury or loss of life. The potential for drownings, accidental deaths and injuries near project facilities and on other project lands and waters has been of concern to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and project owners for a considerable time. The FERC is primarily concerned with the hazards created by project structures and operations. Hazards created by natural conditions in project waters and at recreational areas that are operated or leased by licensees and exemptees of hydropower projects are equally important. However, as a practical matter and given the limitations of staff resources, the implementation of safety measures to minimize accidents that are not associated with project structures or operations is usually the responsibility of local entities and law enforcement agencies.

The purpose of this document is to describe the types of hazards that can exist at hydropower facilities and the safety devices or other measures that can be employed to enhance the protection of the public that utilize project lands and waters. Project owners are responsible for providing any appropriate safety devices and other safety measures at their projects, even if not specifically required by the Regional Engineers. However, the staff of the Division of Dam Safety and Inspections (D2SI), in cooperation with project owners, are expected to assess the overall need for safety devices or other safety measures at all projects in order to develop the most effective solution to identified safety problems. Other safety measures may include preventing recreational activities in hazardous areas. Project owners are expected to expeditiously install and properly maintain any safety measures they determine are needed or are required by the Regional Engineer. This document provides general guidelines and criteria on safety devices because each project is unique and will necessarily require judgements and solutions that should be made in the field.

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1992 (current)

Errata/Special Notes:

Appendix 6 updated in 2011

Revision ID: 5866
Revision Date: 12/16/2022