Dump truck with text saying the distance between life and death is three metres

Construction Workers


Deadly powerline contacts on job sites may be closer than you think.

When working near powerlines, knowing your safe distance can be the difference between life and death.

7 Powerline Safety Tips: 

  1. Look up, look out! Identify all powerlines on site before starting any work. 
  2. Stay back 3 metres. You don’t have to touch a powerline to get a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you or your tools if you get too close. Have someone watch to make sure you stay at least three metres back from powerlines – about the height (or length) of a 10-step ladder.
  3. Before you begin any excavation work, contact your local utility or call Ontario One Call. Ask for a cable locate for all utility-owned underground infrastructure. Privately-owned underground powerlines need a private locate. 
  4. You must have a signaller to support drivers of dump trucks and other high-reach vehicles. This makes sure equipment doesn’t come within three metres of overhead powerlines. 
  5. Ensure that dump trucks on site lower the box after dropping off a load. It’s good practice to have a “raised box” indicator installed in the truck to remind the driver when the box is raised. 
  6. Stay alert! Incidents often happen at the end of the day, when workers are tired or rushing to finish a job. 
  7. If wires fall 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. 

powerline safety course


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