Protect yourself and be safe by following these tips when you work around electric lines, poles and facilities.
Maintain the proper distance from overhead lines
- Keep at least 10 feet away from overhead power lines.
- Assume all overhead lines are energized and dangerous.
- Watch for power lines hidden by trees or buildings.
- Check weather conditions daily as they may change.
- Review your emergency plan so everyone knows what to do in case an accident occurs.
Call before you dig
- Call the Underground Service Alert at 8-1-1, or toll-free at 1-800-422-4133, two full working days before you begin a project.
- Experts will locate and mark electric, gas, telephone, water and sewer lines on or near your project.
- Digging accidents are very dangerous and can be extremely costly.
- Once underground facilities are identified and marked, dig with care. Hand excavate within two feet of all markings.
- Always look for power lines and poles before you begin work and warn fellow workers of any concerns.
- When carrying, do not raise irrigation pipe into the air. Carry pipe, ladders and tools even with the ground to avoid hitting power lines.
- Keep wheeling and equipment clear of power poles and guy wires.
- Before throwing tie downs check for overhead power lines.
- Look for overhead lines before parking vehicles with extensions, like cranes, scissors or cherry pickers.
- When pruning or working in or near trees be careful not to come into contact with power lines.
- Work with a spotter to help avoid potential problems.
In an emergency
If your equipment comes into contact with a power line:
- Move equipment away from the line if you can do so safely.
- Warn others to stay away. Anyone on the ground who touches your equipment may be injured or killed. The ground surrounding your equipment may also be energized—up to 30-feet.
- Stay on your equipment until a utility worker says it’s safe.
- If fire or other dangers force you to leave your equipment, keep both feet together and jump clear without touching the ground and your equipment at the same time. Shuffle away with small steps.
- Immediately call 9-1-1 and then IID at 1-800-303-7756.