Overhead Powerlines

Learn the 7-Metre Rule

Overhead powerlines pose a risk to anyone working near them. Any activity within 7 metres of an overhead powerline puts you, and others working nearby, at risk of serious injury or even death. 

Most incidents involving overhead power lines occur while equipment is being operated or transported. Even if the equipment doesn't make direct contact, electricity can arc or "jump" from the power line to any conductive object.

Remember these steps for working safely on site:

  1. Step 1:

    Plan Your Route

    Before operating any equipment, evaluate the surrounding area for potential hazards and plan a route that keeps the highest point of your equipment at least 7 metres away from overhead lines.

  2. Step 2:

    Don’t Forget Your Spotter

    Alberta law requires you to have a spotter on the ground to assist in identifying hazards and safe limits of approach when operating equipment.

  3. Step 3:

    Contact Your Local Utility

    If you have to work within 7 metres of an overhead line, always contact your local utility before any work begins to de-energize the lines and secure the site.


    When you place a locate request through the Utility Safety Partners notification service (Click Before You Dig) and your work site is in proximity to registered overhead assets, you will receive information about overhead power line safety and contact information for the utility owner.