Overhead Power Lines
Power Lines Are Everywhere
Using proper safety procedures near power lines is absolutely necessary. Work with your supervisor and co-workers to ensure a proper safety attitude at your workplace.
Injuries and deaths near power lines are all too common. Near misses are frequent. Avoiding contact with power lines requires a strong awareness of safety factors, and good decision making ability.
Steer Clear of Trouble
Make the right move and steer clear of overhead power lines. Remember:
Keep a safe working distance between your equipment and power lines - follow applicable OHS Legislation
Before operating equipment, make a safety plan that prevents contact with lines
Take extra care and precautions
Have the power lines relocated if required - it's better to be safe than sorry!
No Contact Allowed
Occupational Health and Safety legislation require you to stay clear from power lines. Don't go too close with people or equipment.
The limits are outlined in the legislation. Depending on the voltage of the power line, you need to establish a safe working distance and make sure everyone follows the guidelines.
Check your knowledge of the legislation and follow the right safety rules - for your safety and for your co-workers.
Make a Power Plan
Make these safety steps part of your power plan:
Notify the power company for disconnection or relocation of the line if needed. Or, have the line isolated or de-energized
Use a trained signaler
Keep an eye out overhead at all times; take the time to examine the hazard
Check the height of your equipment or load
Plan your moves - are there power lines to pass under or avoid?
Look out for uneven ground that may cause your vehicle to weave, bob, or bounce
Think about wind and temperature - they may affect the power line's height
Never ride or climb on equipment or a load when near a power line
Don't ground your equipment around a power line
Remember - electricity is invisible, don't take chances
In an Emergency
Accidents can be prevented with "safety first" in mind. If you or a co-worker come into contact with an overhead line, remember:
Stay in the vehicle until help arrives - this is the safest place
Stay away or keep other workers away from the area
Try to break contact with lines by moving the vehicle at least 10 m (32 feet) away
Don't try to break contact if the cable or equipment appears to be welded to the line - this could cause the line to whip or snap
Contact the power company to turn off the power
If you don't have a radio and are alone, stay in the vehicle and wait
Fires and Power
In the event of a life threatening fire, jump clear and try to land as far away as possible (on both feet) without touching the equipment as you land.
Jump with both feet together and hop as far away as possible. Remember - you are still in danger even if you have cleared the vehicle - shuffle away to minimize the danger of electrical currents in the ground passing through your body.
If you strike a power line, call the power company right away. Report the details of the incident. The company will inspect and repair the area. You also need to report the incident to Saskatchewan Labour - Occupational Health and Safety Division.
No Power Play
Children like to play. You must teach them that playing with electricity or near power lines is the wrong thing to do. It is your responsibility to ensure their safety and that they understand the right way to "play it safe".
Don't let your children fly kites near power lines. Make it a rule and enforce it.
If neighbourhood power lines are close to homes in your area, let others know of the potential hazards.
When trimming trees, painting buildings, or working around the home, stay clear of power lines.
Call the power company to have the line relocated or de-energized if necessary.
Your safety knowledge is important. Share it with your family and neighbours.
Looking Out for Others
Whether you work from a scaffold or operate a crane, you must look out for overhead power supplies. If you are unsure of the voltage or safe procedures, get assistance from the power company or supervisors.
Looking out for safety hazards on-the-job is part of your regular duty. As part of the team of workers at your job site, you appreciate it when others look out for your health and safety - do the same for them.
For more information, refer to current applicable Occupational Health and Safety Legislation.