Stay Safe: Live Line Contact
Each year in Alberta, over 800 power line contacts are reported. Already this year, EQUS has responded to multiple incidents in which vehicles and equipment have come into contact with our power lines and poles. The majority of these incidents have involved agricultural equipment. As farm equipment continues to grow upwards and outwards, so does the risk of accidentally contacting power lines. Extensions on equipment can reach as high as 7.9 metres.
If your vehicle or equipment comes into contact with a power line, pole, transformer, or other live electrical equipment it's important that you know what to do to minimize the risk of injury for yourself and others. Follow these steps to stay safe:
- If it is safe to do so, stay in your vehicle/equipment. Ensure anyone else on site is at least 10 metres away from the vehicle and any downed wires. Wait for help to arrive before exiting the vehicle.
- If your vehicle is still running, and it's safe to move, then you can drive it slowly out of contact and at least 10 metres away from the line before shutting the vehicle down and calling for help.
- If it is not safe to stay in your vehicle/equipment (ex: if the vehicle is on fire) then you must exit the vehicle as safely as possible. Stay calm, don't run away. To safely exit you must jump clear of the vehicle with your feet together, and shuffle slowly away until you are 10 metres from the vehicle. Keep both feet close together and on the ground at all times. Do not allow your body to be touching the vehicle and the ground at the same time. This will prevent the electricity from using your body as a path to reach the ground.
- Call for help! Call 911 first, and then call EQUS at 310.EQUS (310-3787).
- If you witness or come across an incident in which someone is in contact with a power line, stay at least 10 metres away and call for help. Do not approach the vehicle, and always assume that any downed or damaged lines are live.
Before raising or lowering booms, wings, or any other extensions take a moment to ensure your safety by looking around, and looking up. Be aware of any power lines around you, and know the total height of your equipment including antennas and extensions before moving your equipment.
Call 310.EQUS (310-3787) for help finding a safe route to travel with oversize equipment, or contact Utility Safety Partners, formerly Alberta One-Call, and locate any underground utilities before you break ground.