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Mind The Lines

Safety is our top priority – and we want it to be yours too.

Power Safety Toolkit

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Safety Toolkit & Services Overhead Lines Underground Lines Farmer Safety Emergency Situations

Each day, you dedicate your skills and expertise to building better communities. Being equipped with the electrical knowledge and following safety routines will ensure that you return home to what matters most – your loved ones.

Prioritizing safety and adhering to proper procedures protects workers from the serious dangers that come with working near electricity.

It's important to encourage a safety-conscious culture within your team, especially if you work with:

  • Dump trucks
  • Bucket trucks
  • Cranes
  • Excavators
  • Backhoes
  • Ladders
  • Tractors
  • Farming Equipment
  • Other large tools, equipment or heavy machinery

Together, we can protect our communities from preventable accidents.

Up, down and underground, power lines are all around us

Electrical infrastructure is dangerous. Being aware of what’s above and below will protect yourself and others.

Power Line Icon

Avoid the Arc

In the past year, contact with overhead wires has increased 3x.

Take extra caution when handling equipment and tools to ensure you’re within the safe distance limits - staying at least 3 to 6 meters away.

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Know what's below

Always request a locate from Ontario One Call before starting any digging project. The service is free and it's the law - for all projects big or small.

Plan ahead to avoid power loss, damage liability and personal injury.

Steps to  Safety

Following a safety routine will protect you against preventable accidents.

Worker on construction site


Assess for overhead or underground hazards


Confirm you have current locates to avoid hitting dangerous underground infrastructure.

Large equipment or tools?

Look up to ensure you have safe clearance distances when operating machines.

Worker on construction site


Designate a signaler or spotter

This important role acts as your second set of eyes and ears on the ground.

Having a partner in safety can help guide the operation of equipment safely.

Worker on construction site


Know the safe distance limits

All equipment and workers need to keep a safe distance away from power lines to prevent high voltage contact. Remember, the higher the voltage, the higher likelihood that electricity will jump or “arc” to you or your tools.

750 to 150,000V


150,001 to 250,000V




Not sure about the safety distance limits near your job site? Call us at 1-888-664-9376

Power Safety Toolkit

You can help keep workers safe by sharing these important safety reminders with your networks, employees and teams.

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Construction Worker

Request a Safety Service

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Large Vessel Moves

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Line Cover-Up

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Hold the Pole

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Temporary Disconnect

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Tree Trimming

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Working near Overhead Lines

As part of your safety routine, when you first arrive on site perform your hazard assessment. You need to be aware of where all power lines are located and consider where your safe distance limits are.

Power lines as well as the surrounding air space, which insulates the line, can be hazardous. While it is obvious that you should not touch a power line, operating equipment too close to a power line is risky, too. Always ensure you designate a signaler or spotter who can guide you to perform your work safely.

power lines icon

Avoid the arc

You or your equipment can attract electricity without even touching the wire itself. Electricity can arc or “jump” through the insulating space between a wire and a conducting object like a truck or a ladder. The higher the voltage, the more likely it is for an arc to occur.

power lines icon

Safe Distance Limits

Depending on the voltage, you need to stay between 3 to 6 metres away (10 to 20 feet). If you aren't sure, contact us at 1-888-664-9376.

750 to 150,000 volts

3 metres

150,001 to 250,000 volts

4.5 metres


6 metres

a child wearing a blue construction hat

Safety Tips

  • Avoid storing material or equipment under power lines. If it must be stored there, hang warning signs to prevent other workers from using hoisting equipment to move or lift it.
  • Before moving ladders, rolling scaffolds, or elevating work platforms, always check for overhead lines.
  • Always ensure that dump trucks on the job site lower the box after dropping off a load.

Working near Underground Lines

Whether excavating or digging with a shovel, contact Ontario One Call to request an underground cable locate. Plan ahead to avoid power loss, damage liability and personal injury.

As part of your safety routine, before starting your work assess for underground hazards. Confirm you have current locates and review them for the digging area.

If using an excavator, also beware of your machine's reach above and designate a signaler or spotter to help guide you away from overhead lines. If working close to overhead lines, ensure you stay in the safe distance limits of 3 to 6 metres, depending on the amount of voltage within the lines.

Know what's below


Visit or call 1-800-400-2255 to request your free locate.


A service representative will clearly mark where the underground infrastructure runs through your dig area and will provide a locate sheet that includes a diagram of what has been located.


If markings are not required, you will still receive a response from the utility to indicate that your work area is clear. Do not dig until you have received all responses.


Follow any additional digging instructions outlined by each utility on your locate.

What To Do In An Emergency Situation

Follow these steps if you come into contact with a power line:


Don't Move

Any movement may result in a serious injury or fatality

The equipment (and you) may now be at the same electrical potential as the power line and there may be a current flowing through to the ground. Do not touch anything outside the equipment. You might create another path to the ground for the electrical current.


Warn Others:

Stay at least 10 metres away


Get help:

Call 911 or the emergency responders in your area.

Responders will be in touch with Hydro One.

If you must get out

  • Only as a last resort, if you must get off the equipment due to fire or other hazards, you must do so without touching the equipment and the ground at the same time.
  • Jump about 45 cm to 60 cm away from the equipment, landing with feet together and arms close to your body.
  • Keep your feet together (touching) and shuffle at least 10 metres away. Your heels should never pass your toes.


  • When a power line has fallen, always consider it to be energized. Stay back at least 10 metres.
  • Rescue can only be attempted safely by a person trained to use special live-line tools. Never attempt a rescue if you are untrained.
  • When you are working at or near power lines it is important to take the necessary safety precautions.