Electrical Safety On The Job
Good electrical safety habits can help protect you and your co-workers from injury.
- On the average, about 500 Canadian workers suffer serious electrical injuries, some of which are fatal, each year.
- Electrocution kills an average of 25 workers per year.
- Many workplace electrocutions involve touching a power line with long or tall equipment.
- Many electrical injuries can be prevented if people remain alert to hazards.
Power Line Safety
When planning your work, there are many things you need to consider to ensure the job is conducted safely. Please remember as part of your planning to consider work situations that could bring your employees in close proximity to energized power lines and equipment.
Specific requirements for maintaining clearances and providing worker training are covered under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, Consolidated Newfoundland Regulation 1165/96. These regulations require that workers maintain a safe distance of 5.5 metres from energized equipment. Special permits, issued by the utility, are required should the job demand that work be done in less than 5.5 metres from energized equipment.
The regulations also require that all operators of cranes, boom derricks and similar equipment that have the capability of contacting overhead or underground power lines attend an approved “Power Line Hazards” safety training course. We urge you to ensure that each of your employees who requires certification is trained and to take every opportunity to review electrical safety hazards with all of your employees.
If your employees are required to cut or trim trees near power lines, it’s your responsibility to ensure they follow Occupational Health and Safety regulations to protect themselves and others. Be sure your employees know the potential dangers of working near energized power lines. Contact with power lines can result in serious injury or even death.
If you require further information on the above, please contact the Department of Labour, Occupational Health and Safety Division at 729-2706 or 1-800-563-5471, the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association toll free at 1-888-681-7233, or your local Newfoundland Power office.
Contractors, take these three steps around power lines:
1. Locate nearby overhead and underground lines. Contact Newfoundland Power before starting work, and ask if safety measures can be taken.
2. Show others the lines, and warn of their danger.
3. Keep your distance. Ask Newfoundland Power for line voltages and safe
clearances for booms, ladders and other equipment.
Many incidents happen when farming or irrigating near power lines. To avoid
1. Ask Newfoundland Power to identify the location of underground power
2. When handling irrigation pipe and wheeled irrigation systems, keep
them away from power lines.
3. Make sure large sprinkler gun streams have broken up into droplets
before reaching power lines. A solid stream of water touching a power line
can result in a shock hazard.
Most electrical fires can be traced to overheated and overloaded circuits.
Electrical fires can also occur when equipment is driven beyond capacity or
accumulated oil and dirt overheat a motor, or sparks ignite scraps, dirt, dust
or flammable liquids. You can protect yourself and your workers from
electrical fires by identifying the hazards and putting good safety practices in
place. To be truly safe, make safe work habits second nature.