If we know the safety hazards that power lines can produce, why are there still so many power line contact incidents in North America? The two main reasons that power line contacts occur on the job site are workers not understanding the rules for working near power lines and perhaps, not considering power lines enough in pre-job planning.
Electricity is a part of our everyday lives and must be treated with respect. Everyone should know the 7 steps to power line safety listed below. Lean them and pass them on. Remember, they don’t call it power for nothing!
- Call before you dig: To avoid contacting underground power lines, before you dig, call Alberta One Call.
- Know your limits: When using equipment in the vicinity of power lines, always maintain the limits of approach: from 3-7 metres (10-20 feet) depending on the voltage.
- Don’t become a victim: Always call local emergency personnel when someone is injured in an electrical accident.
- Don’t hang around operating equipment: Stay at least 10 metres (33 feet) from operating equipment, in case it contacts an energized line.
- 10 Metres to Safety: Stay back at least 10 metres (33 feet) from any fallen power line or exposed underground cable.
- Look up, and live: Look up, check and keep equipment clear of overhead power lines.
- Shuffle or hop – Don’t Step: If your vehicle makes contact with an energized line remain inside until help arrives. If you must get out due to fire, jump out with your feet together. Then shuffle away, keeping both feet close together. Never contact the ground and your vehicle at the same time.
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