Don’t be a statistic: Look up and look out for powerlines! (sponsored message)Canadian Contractor How-to risk
In the last decade, 20 people have been killed by contact with overhead powerlines. It didn't have to be that way
This message is sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority
By Scott Saint
Chief Public Safety Officer
Electrical Safety Authority
With the busy construction season upon us, it’s important to remind ourselves of the inherent risks that come with working in close proximity to powerlines.
At the Electrical Safety Authority, improving powerline safety at work is one of our key priorities. While there is progress in reducing overall electrical fatalities in Ontario, nearly 75 per cent of known incidents involving overhead powerline contact occur in the construction sector.
Over the past decade, there have been 20 occupational fatalities due to contact with live overhead powerlines. Sadly, all of those deaths could have been prevented. To reduce the risk, make sure every worker on every job site follows these four steps, every time:
- Manage work sites carefully, and create a safety plan for all workers – including those who may just be delivering materials to the site.
- Conduct a hazard assessment of the site and remove or prepare for the hazards you identify, before the work starts.
- Always have a signaller to make sure heavy equipment, including dump trucks and cranes, are well away from powerlines
- Always double-check before lifting or swinging your load
For the second straight year, the ESA will be joining forces with industry partners and local electricity utilities on a number of education and awareness activities during Powerline Safety Week, May 12 to 18.
Remember you can never take safety for granted. We all have an obligation to work together to protect our families, our communities, our co-workers and ourselves.
For more life-saving tips, visit www.powerlinesafety.ca or watch “Your Life is on the Line”, a two-minute animated video that may prove to be the best time investment you’ll ever make.
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As we say in my line of work “be careful with electricity, you can’t smell it, you can’t see it, but you can sure feel it”. You always have to be extra careful when dealing with high voltage and check if things are safe a 100 times if needed.