The majority of powerline contacts happen at construction sites - every one of them is preventable. Job site safety is everyone’s responsibility, so it’s important for everyone to be aware and take the necessary precautions to reduce the growing number of incidents.
The following provides more information about how to stay safe when working around powerlines.
6 Powerline Safety Tips for Construction Workers:
1. Look up, look out! Identify all powerlines on site and make sure people and equipment stay at least three metres away to prevent an incident. Electricity can jump to you or your equipment if you’re too close to a powerline.
2. Be sure to contact your local utility or call Ontario One Call to have a cable locate done for all utility-owned underground infrastructure before you begin any excavation work. Privately-owned underground powerlines require a private locate.
3. Drivers of dump trucks and other high reach vehicles must get a signaller to ensure that equipment doesn’t come within three metres of overhead powerlines.
4. Ensure that dump trucks on site drop their box after dropping off the load. It’s good practice to have a raised box indicator installed in the truck to remind the driver that the box is raised.
5. Stay alert! Many incidents happen at the end of the day when workers are tired or rushing to finish a job.
6. If wires fall down on the truck or the ground, always assume they are still energized. Stay in the vehicle, call 911 and keep everyone back. Only the local utility worker on-site can confirm when the power is off and tell you when it’s safe to exit the vehicle.