Landscapers & Arborists
You may be pruning trees and trimming plants to make them look better or to keep them healthy. Or, you could be pruning to avoid possible electrical hazards and power interruptions. In all cases, look up and look out for overhead powerlines before you start. Take the proper safety precautions and always be aware of your surroundings.
Take steps to stay safe
- Aluminum ladders will conduct electricity if they contact or if they are near overhead powerlines. So will ladders with aluminum parts. Even wooden or fiberglass ladders can contain metal or become contaminated and lead to a shock if they come come to a powerline. You don“t have to make direct contact with an overhead powerline; electricity can arc or jump across to a person or a tool.
- To avoid powerline contact, look up! Always be aware of overhead powerlines when using ladders. Be safe and carry your ladder horizontally, preferably with another person to help.
- Tree pruning tools that contact or come close to a powerline can result in electrocution. Look closely for overhead powerlines running through trees as foliage often hides them.
- Make sure you and your tools are at least three metres away from powerlines at all times.
Aerial Lifts and Buckets
- Aerial lifts can come in contact with overhead powerlines, especially if the powerlines are hidden in trees.
- Always look up! Check for overhead powerlines. Make sure you have clearance when operating aerial lift equipment and bucket trucks. Keep equipment at least three metres away from powerlines.
- If the lift or bucket does come into contact with a powerline, remember that the ground around it can become energized. This can cause a deadly shock to anyone who gets too close. Stay in the bucket until the power has been shut off and call 9-1-1 right away. Don’t let anyone come within 10 metres of you and the lift, including first responders. Wait until a utility worker on site can confirm the power is off.