Power Line Clearance

Power Line Clearance

Everyone must be aware of the electrical hazards associated with overhead and underground power lines. Farm equipment is getting larger which makes knowing your clearances even more important. Power systems are designed and constructed using vertical and horizontal clearances that allow for public and worker safety. If you are not sure, stay at least 10 meters away from the power line. Please contact the office for assistance in determining the safe distance to a specific power line.

A safe limit of approach is the minimum safe distance between a person/equipment and a power line that is legislated by The Alberta Electrical Utility Code to protect the public. Electicity always tries to move toward the ground through the easiest path. It can jump or arc to equipment. Observing safe limits will protect you from fire, severe shock, or electrocution. For more information, view the safe limits pamphlet.

To help prevent a contact include the power system in your purchasing of equipment and the planning of the work to be done:

  1. Know what work is to be completed
  2. Know the size and type of equipment to be used
  3. Know the location of the power system
  4. Maintain a safe distance from the power system

Working Close to Overhead Power Systems

The single most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to:

  1. Verify the height of your load before you begin to move/work. If you are moving an over height load on public roads, you will need to investigate our highload requirements.
  2. Note the location of overhead lines, even if you will just be moving equipment around the farm. Line heights can vary depending on the weather and age of the lines. Keep your distance from power lines by maintaining the 10 meter safe zone.
  3. Know that vegetation near power lines may also be a hazard.
  4. Piling of material (bales, dirt, gravel etc) should not be located under power lines, which will reduce the clearances.

Contact the qualified personnel at Battle River Power Coop if you have any questions. 

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MEASURE THE EXISTING POWER LINES

Work Close to Underground Power Systems

Steps to safely dig:

  1. Whether you are planning to plant a new tree, put in fencing, or add a deck, have all underground lines located before you start.  Contact the locator at least two business days before digging. 
  2. Take the time to determine the location of all underground electrical lines. Excavating near power poles can be dangerous. Although buried electrical lines are insulated, contact with a sharp shovel or equipment could easily damage the protective covering and expose you to harmful electrical current. The number and depth of cables will vary. Use extreme caution.
  3. Do not disturb the soil near the base of a pole.
  4. Maintain limits of approach and contact either Battle River Power Coop or Alberta One-Call at 1-800-242-3447 to help you locate underground lines prior to any digging activity. 
  5. Once the site has been marked, you have up to 14 days to begin digging otherwise you will need to have the area remarked. 
  6. Electrical utilities require that you use non-destructive excavating techniques within 1 meter of the locate marks for underground cables, such as hand exposed or the use of employ hydrovac equipment. Do not dig with a machine.
  7. Then use proper back filling techniques to avoid earth settlement. 

What to Do if You Contact a Line

In the event that your machinery or vehicle contacts an overhead line:

  1. Drive clear of the line if it is safe to do so.
  2. Remain in your vehicle and call 911.
  3. Only leave your vehicle if it is absolutely necessary and then be sure to jump clear of the vehicle ensuring that you do not maintain contact with the vehicle with any part of your body.  It is critical that you do not touch your vehicle and the ground at the same time. 
  4. Once on the ground, hop or shuffle, keeping both feet together, until you are at least 10 meters away.  Electricity can be conducted through your body when you step which is why it is so important to keep your feet together.
  5. Do not allow anyone to approach the equipment as they will be walking into an energized zone and will be in danger. 

For more information, visit Where's The Line website, and the Invisible Killer's website.