Safety at work is everyone's job

Safety on the job goes far beyond hard hats and safety boots. One of the leading causes of fatalities and serious injuries on the job is electrocution. Taking a short cut and compromising safety to meet a deadline is just asking for trouble.

Roofers, renovators, painters, siding installers, demolition and construction crews and many more trades involved in residential and commercial projects are constantly at risk.

ON1CALL Logo

High voltage power lines and transformers are unforgiving and lethal. Be conscious of your surroundings and take precautions especially when using ladders, booms, cranes, dump trucks, backhoes and cherry pickers. Before you dig, contact Ontario One Call or 1-800-400-2255 to check for underground wires, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are uncertain or not familiar with electrical hazards please contact Horizon Utilities, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services or the Electrical Safety Authority for additional information.

Important Information Concerning Clearances to Horizon Utilities’ Wire


Planning a Construction Project?

  • What you need to know about electrical safety and servicing before you start.
  • What you need to know about:
    • Clearances for overhead and underground wires
    • Working clearances
    • Requesting a Service Layout
  • Plan for success. Don't let electrical safety or servicing delay your project.

Dump Truck

Look up and look out before you lift your load.

Dump truck drivers and construction workers must ensure they are aware of the location and voltage of overhead power lines where they are working. Most overhead power lines are not insulated. Metal objects that contact these lines become energized to the same voltage as the line. Dump trucks are included. Tires can act as an insulator until they blow. At this time, the vehicle and the ground around it will become energized. If tires do not blow, drivers should check these for damage.

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) recommends that drivers and workers maintain a distance of more than 10 feet from power lines on poles. The Occupational Health & Safety Act & Regulations mandate the safe limits of approach to overhead power lines based on voltage ratings.

Drivers and workers must be made aware of overhead power line hazards and know what safe limits of approach to adhere to. Caution should be taken not only when lifting the dump truck box – but also when lowering this to avoid unexpected contact with overhead power lines.

In the event that your vehicle comes in contact with a power line – A driver can be electrocuted if he/she attempts to leave the truck. Warn others to stay back! If someone were to touch the side of the truck, they would be electrocuted by the energized dump truck. Between 1999 and 2008, Ontario reported 95 deaths by electrocution relating to power lines coming into contact with vehicles.

In addition, the ground around an energized vehicle will carry electricity for up to 35 feet.

In the event of a downed power line, call 911 or Horizon Utilities to ensure that power on the power line is disconnected. Further information is available on ESA's website.

Roofers, Siding & Eaves Trough

Most common mistakes

Roofers, siding, and eaves trough installers must be made aware of the dangers associated with working around overhead power lines. Caution should be taken while placing ladders and scaffolding into place to avoid contact with power lines.

What roofers, siding & eaves trough installers should know when working around power lines

Using ladders/extensions

Always be aware of overhead power lines when using ladders and extensions. Ladders should always be carried horizontally when moving from Point A to
Point B.

Using scaffolding

Be sure to look up for overhead power lines before constructing or placing any scaffolding beside a building or structure that you are working on.

Avoid human contact

Be sure to look up, locate and keep clear of overhead power lines and masts before you work on roofs, eaves troughs, and siding to ensure you have the necessary clearance.

Electricity can arc from an un-insulated line to a metal object.