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Look Up! Avoid Powerline Contact

The powerlines crisscrossing rural Alberta are part of the landscape. We have become so accustomed to seeing them that they often go unnoticed. Look up and stay safe when working, playing or operating machinery near power structures.

Observe a 7 meter safe zone if you must work near a powerline. Take the time to lower truck boxes or augers when you move under a line, even if you think there is sufficient clearance. Electricity has the capability to arc from a line to machinery without direct contact. Plan your route when moving farm implements, grain bins or other large equipment, and call your power provider to verify the height of lines if there is doubt about safe clearance. Teach children to stay away from electrical structures when playing, flying kites or climbing trees. Never attempt to trim trees near powerlines- call your power provider for professional assistance.

The most recent Electrical Incidents Statistics Report, released by Alberta Municipal Affairs, reports 584 incidents of contact with overhead powerlines in 2016, up slightly from 2015. The numbers suggest the need for increased public awareness of the potential safety risk, and the danger of complacency.

The table below is taken from the 2016 Electrical Incidents Statistics Report.

 

TYPE OF CONTACT OR DAMAGE

# OF LINE CONTACTS

Overhead Utility Systems

 

Vehicle-mounted equipment (booms, hoists, cranes, etc.)

47

Trucks with raised boxes and vehicles transporting high loads

76

Excavating or earth moving vehicles

55

Farm implements

131

Relocating structures (grain bins)

6

Vehicles out of control

183

Aircraft, parachutes, kites, etc.

4

Falling, brushing or trimming trees

a)    Utility tree trimmers/workers

b)    Others

 

6

34

Other contacts

42

                                                                                                    Total                                                                                                                   

584

Battle River Power Coop provides information about safety around electrical structures on our website.

Moving high loads: http://www.brpower.coop/safety/moving-high-loads

Power line clearance: http://www.brpower.coop/safety/power-line-clearance

The 2016 Electrical Incident Statistics Report summary is available at http://www.municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/cp_electrical_forms_and_reports

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