Safety at Work

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A downed power line is deadly. If you spot a fallen wire, keep at least 10 metres away, even if it does not appear to be live. If a wire falls across your vehicle, do not get out—you could become a path for electricity if you touch the ground. If you must get out, hop out clear of the vehicle and land on both feet, then hop or shuffle until you are 10 metres clear of the vehicle.

Remember the safe limits of approach. Electricity can arc or “jump” from the wire to a conducting object like a ladder or a truck. Keep at least 3 metres distance between you and overhead distribution power lines and 6 metres for high voltage transmission lines at all times.

Be aware of safety hazards below. Find out where it is safe to dig by calling: 1-800-400-2255 or submit an e-ticket on the Ontario One Call Website. The call is free, and it could save your life.

Look up and live. Before you start work, look up and around the site to make sure you and your crew are aware of overhead lines. Ladders, cranes and pipes are all good conductors of electricity, and remember, it does not need to be touching a power line to be energized.

Avoid overhead lines. To avoid a potential accident, never stand irrigation pipes near overhead power lines. Always have someone ready to warn you when you are getting too close. Keep at least 3 metres distance between you and overhead distribution power lines and 6 metres for high voltage transmission lines at all times.

You hold their lives in your hands. Safety training is critical; you hold your workers' lives in your hands. Do not put them at risk. Ensure that they have the critical safety training they need to go home safely to their families.

When approaching lines be careful. Below are the minimum distances of approach between workers or equipment and power lines:

  • 750 to 150,000 volt lines: minimum distance is 3 metres or 10 feet
  • 150,000 to 250,000 volt lines: minimum distance is 4.5 metres or 15 feet
  • Greater than 250,000 volt lines: minimum distance is 6 metres or 20 feet