Safety at Work
At Maritime Electric we take electrical safety seriously. Working in the electrical industry we understand the potential hazards of accidental contact with electricity. Please take the time to read the tips below for some helpful information on how to better understand electrical safety at your workplace.
For Employers: Train Employees
It is essential for employers to provide a safe workplace for all workers. Workers need to be aware of any potential electrical hazards associated with their job. Taking these steps may help prevent workplace injuries. Employers should adopt the following steps:
- Always remind ALL workers about overhead and underground power line hazards.
- Give employees specific instructions regarding known electrical hazards such as, “Do not transport this cultivator through this gate because of the overhead power line.”
- Consider placing signage as a reminder.
- Ensure employees are appropriately trained for the tasks they will perform.
- Always hire qualified electricians – when required – for work on electrical systems.
For Workers: Follow Safety Guidelines
Please read the tips below to help you perform your work safely when working around electricity.
- Ensure you have the correct knowledge and skills to do your work.
- Are there risks involved? Before, beginning and during a job, consider the risks associated with all tasks you must perform.
- Assess your work area, tools and equipment for hazards and ensure effective control measures are used.
- Make it your business to know where overhead and underground lines are located and how far you need to stay away from them in order to stay safe.
- Consider the tools and electrical equipment that you may use. Ensure they are inspected prior to use.
- Double check that your equipment or tools have been unhooked, unplugged, disconnected or de-energized when your work is completed.
- Despite all precautions, equipment sometimes comes in contact with electrical lines. If equipment comes in contact with power lines, stay on or in the equipment and ask someone to contact Maritime Electric immediately.
When Working Near Power Lines
- Before you begin your work, note possible hazards.
- If overhead lines are present or there may be underground facilities, contact Maritime Electric to find out line voltages and safe limits of approach.
- Power lines heights may change making conditions abnormal due to temperature, vehicle collisions, broken guy wires or other causes.
- Inspect your work site regularly when working in proximity to power lines.
- Ensure the height limit of a load, including any attachments, is below the legal height limit – 4.15 metres (13.5 feet). If height limit exceeds 4.9 metres (16 feet) contact Maritime Electric to determine if an escort is needed in order to move lines.
- Know where the power lines are at all times – use caution when loading and unloading.
- Have a spotter watch and warn you if you are getting too close to a power line.
- Check that your dump/boom body of the truck is lowered before you leave the work area.
Downed Power Lines are Extremely Dangerous
- If you see a downed power line, always consider the wire is energized.
- Contact Maritime Electric with the location immediately and warn others to stay away.
- Never attempt to move a downed power line or anything touching a power line.
- Keep away from the power line and anything that is touching the wire by at least 15 metres (50 feet).
- If required, shuffle or hop, don’t step out of the energized area.
In an Emergency – Contact with a Power Line
It is extremely important to train any newly hired workers in electrical safety and ensure seasonal employees are re-trained as often as needed. Despite all precautions, equipment sometimes comes into contact with power lines. It is important to know how to handle these situations.
- If your equipment comes into contact with power lines, if possible try and move it away from the contacted lines to a safe distance of at least 15 metres.
- If the equipment cannot be moved, stay inside or on it until emergency personnel arrive. If someone approaches tell them to stay away and contact 9-1-1.
- If there is a fire and you must leave the equipment, jump and land with both feet together.
- Never touch the ground and the machinery at the same time. Move away by shuffling your feet side-by-side or hopping. Do this until you are at least 15 metres away.
- Be sure to perform a thorough inspection on any equipment that has been involved with electrical contact. Tires, hydraulic components, electrical and other parts may be damaged. As required, use the services of qualified personal to inspect potentially damaged equipment.
Downed power lines are very dangerous. Never attempt to move a downed power line or anything that may be touching that line. Always assume the downed power line is energized. If you see a downed power line, call Maritime Electric and warn others to stay away at least 15 metres until qualified personnel shows up to fix the problem.
Ground conditions can increase the hazard area - so if the conditions are wet or steel fencing or guard rails are present - increase the distance that you stay clear and warn others to stay clear.