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Construction Safety

Know Where The Line Is

When it comes to electrical safety, there is no crossing the line. Contact with overhead and underground power lines can cause serious injuries and fatal accidents. Check out our Power Line Hazards Safety Talk, developed specifically for contractors – it may save lives!

Know your limits when working around energized power lines. They are overhead and underground. This Power Line Hazards Reference Sheet can be a powerful reminder of what is all around you as you go about your daily activities – at work and at play.

Good safety practices on the job can help protect you and your co-workers from injury. When planning your work, there are many things you need to consider to ensure the job is conducted safely. Be sure to locate all overhead and underground power lines before you begin work (and make sure others are aware as well).

We can help. Contact us at 1-800-663-2802 to learn the location of underground lines and for more information about working safely around power lines and electrical equipment.

First Responders

Being the first on the scene after an accident, first responders such as fire, police and medical personnel can be exposed to electrical hazards that may be very difficult to detect. To understand more about these hazards and to learn about electrical safety dos and don’ts when responding to an emergency, visit the Canadian Electricity Association website.

On The Job

The Shocking Facts

Did you know?

  • 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.

Contractors Beware - Plan Ahead

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.

Farming Or Irrigating

Many incidents happen when farming or irrigating near power lines. To avoid injury:

  1. Ask Newfoundland Power to identify the location of underground power lines.
  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.

Electrical Fires

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.