Powerline Safety Week is Here!
May 19, 2022 BACK TO NEWS

Spring is here and that means plenty of people will be undertaking outdoor home and work projects. With outdoor work comes the risk of lethal powerline contacts. May 16 to 22 is Powerline Safety Week, and the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is asking Ontarians to be aware of the risks and avoid fatal distractions by practicing three critical steps: Stop, Look, and Live.

According to the Ontario Electrical Safety Report, in the past 10 years, 18 Ontarians have died from overhead powerline contact, the leading cause of electrical fatality in Ontario. Front line construction workers are at an especially high risk, with 70 per cent of powerline contacts over the past 10 years occurring on construction sites. 

The safety of our employees and our customers is of the utmost importance to NPEI. Below are some tips to help keep you safe!

  • Distractions can be deadly. Outdoor work is rewarding, but it can also be deadly. Before you start any outdoor work, locate all overhead powerlines. Be especially aware of powerlines that may be hidden by trees.
  • Stay three metres backAlways be aware of your surroundings. You do not have to touch a powerline to get a deadly shock. Electricity can jump or “arc” to you or your tools if you get too close. Have someone watch to make sure you and your tools stay at least three metres back from powerlines. If you need to work closer than three metres to an overhead powerline, contact the owner of the powerlines to have the power safely disconnected.
  • Plant trees away from overhead powerlines. Avoid problems down the line by determining how large the tree will grow and planting it a safe distance away, so branches don’t come close a powerline. If your trees are in close proximity to powerlines, contact your local utility or a utility arborist. Do not prune or remove trees around powerlines yourself.
  • Carry ladders sideways. Never carry ladders upright as they may come in contact or close to powerlines. Check for overhead powerlines before standing a ladder up.
  • Call or click before you dig. Before you start a landscaping project such as building a fence, deck or planting trees, check with Ontario One Call. They will locate all utility-owned underground infrastructure so you can protect your loved ones and your property. Private underground powerlines such as supply to a pool or detached garage are not located by the utility and will require a private locate.
  • Watch for downed powerlines. If you see one, stay back about the length of a school bus (10 metres). Call 9-1-1 and NPEI immediately and tell everyone to stay back. 
  • Talk to your kids about powerline safety. Help children find safe places to play, away from utility poles and electrical equipment around fences. Remind children never to climb trees near powerlines. Make sure they look closely, since leaves and branches can hide the wires. Kids should not play on green boxes on lawns or in parks.

For more information and safety tips you can visit the ESA's website here.