close checkmark

Padmounted Transformer Safety

February 26th, 2020
Safety
Underground
Overhead

Padmounted transformers may not look threatening, but they can carry the same amount of electricity as overhead power lines

Padmounts or padmounted transformers are recognizable to most as the green or grey steel electrical boxes found in most residential areas. Inside, they house the same equipment that you’d find with any pole-mounted transformer, and are connected to buried power lines lines nearby.

Dig safe

The presence of a padmount transformer means there are underground distribution lines nearby, including directly under and around the box. So as with all underground work, it's critical to always request a locate at least five days before breaking ground. For a full summary on how to dig safe, you can reference our How to Dig Safe section on our website.

Ensure access

You should always make that there is proper access to padmounted transformers and that there is a clear eight-foot path in front of the unit, which is the side with a door. There should never be any sort of obstruction in front of the transformer, such as a fence or shrub, or any construction materials or equipment.

What to Do if You Find an Open Padmounted Transformer

Only professionals should have access to padmounted transformers, but occasionally you may encounter one that has been left open, whether due to negligence, tampering, or theft. If you find an open or damaged padmount, you can call the utility’s number listed on the transformer for further assistance. You should also report the incident to the utility. In the event of a significant safety concern, you can also call 911.

Want to brush up on your power line safety knowledge? Take an Online Safety Tutorial and earn free swag for you and your crew.

Related Posts

01 Blog Arc Flash Danger 1352x626

What is an Arc Flash and Why is it Dangerous?

Arc flashes are electrical explosions that happen when electric current flows through an air gap between conductors.
October 17th, 2019
Safety
Read Full Article double-arrows-right
05_7ways-to-stay_Getty Images-1059723194

7 Ways to Stay Focused at Work

Whether you’re new on site or a seasoned professional, maintaining a safe work environment should always be your top priority — especially when working near overhead or underground power lines.
May 16th, 2018
Safety
Read Full Article double-arrows-right
07_power-line-contact-victim_Getty Images-957039486

The True Story of a Power Line Contact Victim

The day that then-lineman Rick Svecla had 25,000 volts of electricity surge through his body started out like any other day on the job. Here's his story.
February 15th, 2018
Safety
Read Full Article double-arrows-right

Contact Map

Think power line contacts are few and far between? Think again.
See the overhead and underground contacts occurring near you.

The Joint Utility Safety Team (JUST) is a partnership between the following Alberta electric utilities with contributions from local municipalities, formed to address the frequency of power line contacts across the province.