Look Up, Look Out and #RespectThePower

Posted on Monday May 15, 2017

May 15 to 21 is Powerline Safety Week

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


GUELPH & WATERLOO REGION, ON (May 15, 2017) – The impact of coming into contact with a powerline is instant and often lethal. Within the past decade, 23 Ontarians have died due to contact with live powerlines,[1] and many more people have been seriously injured. Even getting too close to a powerline can kill you or cause serious injury. Electricity rarely gives second chances.

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.

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

5 Tips to #RespectThePower at Home:

  1. Before starting any outdoor job, first look up, look out and locate powerlines. Then keep track of where they are as you move around so you are always mindful of them.
  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. Never attach, drape, or brace anything on a powerline. And never grab a line for balance when working at heights.
  4. Carry ladders, pruners and other long equipment horizontally, not vertically, because they could come into contact or attract arcing from an overhead line.
  5. Planning a new deck, fence or planting some trees? Before starting your project, have underground utility equipment and cables located and marked. Call Before You Dig Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 or www.on1call.com.

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.