Look Up, Look Out and #RespectThePower

Posted on Monday May 14, 2018

May 14 to 20 is Powerline Safety Week

 Don’t take safety for granted, always be aware of overhead and underground wires.

GUELPH & WATERLOO REGION, ON (May 14, 2018) – As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, local hydro utilities Energy+ Inc., Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc., and Waterloo North Hydro Inc. are reminding residents and contractors working outdoors to be aware of powerline dangers lurking silently, overhead and underground, around homes and businesses.

 More than 20 Ontarians have died due to contact with live powerlines in the last decade[i] – including a 50-year-old Hamilton man who died after attempting to clear downed power lines from the road after last week’s windstorm. Many more people have been seriously injured. Simply getting too close to a powerline can cause serious injury or death.

Outdoor activities such as building fences and decks, cleaning eaves troughs, repairing or replacing roofs, taking down seasonal lights, trimming and planting trees, flying kites or drones and climbing trees, all pose high risks for people to come into contact with live powerlines.

Your local hydro utilities would also like to take this time to remind you of the dangers of underground and buried powerlines. If you are planning a new deck, putting up a fence or planting some trees, click or call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 or www.on1call.com for a free locate before you dig.

4 Tips to #RespectThePower at Home:

  1. Before starting any outdoor job, first look up, look out and locate powerlines. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.
  2. 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.
  3. Keep away from electrical transmission and distribution lines, and never climb utility poles. If a tool, piece of equipment or even a ball or drone ends up inside a transformer station, don’t try to retrieve it yourself. Call your local hydro utility for assistance.
  4. Carry ladders, pruners and other long equipment horizontally, not vertically, because they could come into contact or attract arcing from an overhead line.


4 Tips to #RespectThePower at Work:

  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 accident. Electricity can jump to you or your equipment if you’re too close to a powerline.
  2. 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. Ensure that dump trucks on site drop their box after dumping the load.
  3. Stay alert! Many accidents happen at the end of the day when workers are tired or rushing to finish a job.
  4. 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.

For more information about Powerline Safety Week, visit www.esasafe.com/powerlinesafety.