Hydro urging contractors to work safely around power lines

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) is reminding contractors and the public of the importance of being vigilant when working around power lines. “Today, transport truck came in contact with a communication line in Labrador City,” said Scott Crosbie, Chief Operating Officer, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. “Luckily, there were no injuries; however Hydro crews had to de-energize the line to ensure the driver could exit safely.”

This incident brings the total number of contacts for 2014 to twelve.

“The majority of the contacts we see involve third-party contractors using large equipment such as booms, cranes, tractors, trailers, snow clearing equipment and dump trucks,” explained Crosbie. “We are alarmed by the number of power line contacts and are working diligently with our partners and urging people who work around power lines to understand the risks and take all precautions to work safely. It’s important to look up, keep back, and call ahead.”

Specific requirements for maintaining clearances and providing worker training are mandated by the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations. Special permits are required when working within 5.5 metres of energized power lines. Operators of equipment with the capability of contacting overhead or underground power lines must attend an approved “Power Line Hazards” safety course.

Accidents can be prevented with proper planning, worksite evaluation and adhering to safe distances. For more information on working safely around electrical equipment, visit www.nlh.nl.ca (1.888.764.9376).