Above Ground Utility Safety

What to do if you come into contact with a live power line

If your vehicle or equipment comes into contact with a power line or transformer, here's how to safely react to minimize the danger to yourself and others.

  1. Step 1:

    Stay in your vehicle or equipment and warn others to stay back at least 10 metres.

  2. Step 2:

    If your vehicle or equipment is still running and it’s safe to do so, carefully move it out of contact with the power equipment and at least 10 metres away, then park/shut down.

    If your vehicle or equipment is immobilized, remain inside and instruct others to stay back at least 10 metres.

  3. Step 3:

    Call emergency services (911) and your local utility company for assistance.

    If your vehicle or equipment needs to be abandoned (e.g. catches fire), follow these steps for exiting safely.

    WARNING: Only attempt if it is no longer safe to remain in your vehicle or equipment.

  1. Step 1:

    Remove any loose clothing and leave your belongings (e.g. purses, bags, etc.) behind.

  2. Step 2:

    Open the door and carefully step onto the metal frame of your vehicle or equipment. Prepare to jump by looking for the flattest spot on the ground and crossing your arms across your chest, tucking in your elbows.

    The goal is to avoid touching your vehicle or equipment and the ground at the same time as it could bridge a gap for the electricity to flow through you in order to reach the ground.

  3. Step 3:

    Jump with your feet together and keep them together when you land, crouching slightly to help you keep your balance. This is more important than how far you jump. If your feet are apart, it could create a bridge for electricity to run through you.

  4. Step 4:

    Slowly shuffle (with both feet on the ground at all times) at least 10 metres away from your vehicle or equipment. If you need to quickly reach safety and the ground is flat and level, hop with both feet together.

  5. Step 5:

    Call emergency services (911) and your local utility company for assistance.

Protect Yourself from Overhead Powerlines

Protect yourself and learn how to avoid contact with overhead utilities. Learn The 7-Metre Rule.

High Risk Activities

These include working in construction, transportation, agriculture, oil & gas, and as first responders. Learn more about how you can protect yourself.