What sort of Electrical Safety Company would we be if we didn’t acknowledge and spread the word about Powerline Safety Week?
While there have been more than 1,248 reported overhead powerline contacts in Ontario in the last ten years, 19 people have lots their lives from overhead powerline contact. People who work closer to the powerlines are at a higher risk, such as construction workers and powerline workers. Dump trucks are the cause of more than half of the accidents caused by powerline contact.
It’s important to know that even though accidents are more common on construction and work sites they can happen just as easily at home. The three most common powerline hazards at home are: using ladders, trimming trees and flying kites. There are many things we can do to help prevent these sorts of accidents from happening at home and at work. The ESA has given the following tips to stay safe:
5 Tips to #RespectThePower at Home:
Locate the wires. Before starting any outdoor job, first look up, look out and locate the powerlines. Then keep track of where they are as you move around your yard.
Stay back three metres from all powerlines – that means you as well as any tools such as ladders or pruners. Coming too close to the wires can cause electricity to jump or “arc” to you or your tools.
Never attach, drape or brace anything on a powerline. And never grab a line for balance when working at heights.
Carry ladders, pruners and other long equipment horizontally, not vertically. This helps you avoid, touching or attract arcing from an overhead line as you move around your yard.
Plant trees away from overhead powerlines and call Ontario One Call before you dig to ensure underground cables and other utility-owned equipment are located and marked. If existing trees have grown into or close to powerlines, contact a trained utility arborist or your local electric utility to have the tree safely trimmed.
5 Tips to #RespectThePower at Work:
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.
Drivers of dump trucks and other high-reach vehicles must get a signaller to ensure equipment doesn’t come within three metres of overhead powerlines. This is outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Ensure that dump trucks on site drop their box after dumping the load. It’s good practice to have a raised box indicator installed in the truck to remind the driver the box is raised.
Stay alert! Many incidents happen at the end of the day when workers are tired or rushing to finish a job.
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 at least 10 metres – the length of a school bus. 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.
Remember powerlines aren’t just located above us, before you do any landscaping work or digging, call Ontario One Call. It’s FREE and it can prevent considerable dollars in repair costs, save our neighbours from disrubtion to their services and most importantly prevent injury or death!!! Did I mention it’s FREE?
Each of our Electricity Safety & Conservation presenters has at least 30 years experience in the electrical field, and has been trained to give consistent, high quality presentations to the elementary schools we visit.