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Oil & Gas

More than 150,000 Albertans are employed in the oil and gas industry, making power line safety one of the most critical workplace issues in the province.

Know the Risks

Contacting power lines can result in serious burns, damaged equipment or fatal electrocutions. Contractors, inexperienced workers and those working in remote locations are most at risk.

The first step to reducing the frequency of power line contacts is to be aware of the power lines located on every worksite. From there, hazards can be identified and control measures put in place to protect yourself and your crew.

Assess all potential hazards on the worksite.

Before work begins, assessing the worksite and the equipment required is critical. Determine how close to overhead power lines equipment will be operated and locate all underground utilities on the worksite.

If any equipment has the potential to get closer than 7 metres from overhead power lines or if you'll need to disturb the ground within one metre on either side of a marked underground utility, additional safety precautions are needed.

Take the necessary steps to eliminate hazards and set up control measures.

If safe distances from power lines can't be maintained, your employer is responsible for determining whether work can proceed.

De-energizing the lines can be coordinated with the local utility company, making it safe to proceed with scheduled work. For underground power lines, working around the energized line might still be possible using excavation techniques approved by the underground facility owner.

If overhead power lines can't be de-energized, the utility company can provide you with alternatives.

If you feel unsafe, say something.

While it's ultimately the responsibility of your employer to ensure that the site is safe before work begins, you have the right to voice your concerns and remove yourself from an unsafe worksite.

Oil & Gas Safety on the Blog

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
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Horizontal Directional Drilling: Know the Hazards

Find out how horizontal directional drilling (HDD) could increase your risk of contacting an underground power line.

March 9th, 2018
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View all articles

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.