The most recent Incident Statistical Report by Municipal Affairs shows that there were 749 reported contacts with overhead powerlines in Alberta in 2017, more than any other year for which statistics are available. Of these reported contacts, 139 involved farm implements, and another 105 occurred when truck boxes or over height loads contacted powerlines. Each incident held the possibility of property damage, personal injury, or even fatality.
The busy spring seeding season is beginning, and Battle River Power Coop reminds those moving or transporting equipment to allow adequate clearance and stay safe near powerlines. Know the dimensions of your equipment or load and call your power provider for assistance if you have doubts about safely passing under a line. In Battle River Power Coop’s service area, the number to call is 1.877.428.3972. You are reminded that any load over 4.15 meters in height requires electrical utility notification, and also a permit from Alberta Transportation.
Never attempt to measure the height of a powerline.
If you accidentally contact a powerline, know what to do:
- Drive clear of the line if it is safe to do so and will not cause further damage. Within Battle River Power Coop area, call 1-877-428-3972 to report the contact.
- If you cannot safely break contact with the line stay in your vehicle and call 911.
- Exit the vehicle only if your safety is compromised, as in case of fire. Jump clear and land with both feet together. Do not contact the ground and the vehicle at the same time and jump a short distance to avoid falling forward.
- Once on the ground, shuffle, keeping both feet together, until you are at least 10 meters away. It is critical to keep your feet together because electricity can be conducted through your body when you step.
- Do not touch anyone or anything as you shuffle away from the vehicle.
- Do not allow anyone to approach the equipment as they will be walking into a dangerous energized zone.
- Stay a minimum of 10m away.