Skip to main content Skip to main menu Skip to search box
Worker in a bucket truck performing work on a utility pole with overhead wires
Follow our guidelines for working on or near overhead power lines to minimize your risk of electrocution or other serious injury.

Always keep a safe distance

Maintain a distance of at least 20 feet between overhead power lines and yourself and all your equipment. This includes everything from your tools to scaffolding to vehicles and other heavy machinery. Don’t store your equipment near or under power lines.

Contact us before you work around or near power lines

Make sure we’re aware of your project before you start working, as not all power lines can be de-energized. We will assess each case and will de-energize and ground the power line if possible. We can also cover line lines as means of warning to the proximity of an energized power line that should not be contacted or encroached upon.

Watch out for the wires supporting utility poles

Be careful for equipment not to snap the guy wires, the angled cables connecting the top of utility poles to the ground. Damaging a guy wire could cause the overhead power lines to sag, which might prevent you from safely passing underneath the line.

Always use a spotter when moving or operating equipment near the lines

Spotters can monitor the clearance between the line and equipment such as ladders, scaffolding, cranes, etc., and can alert the team if equipment gets too close. Designated spotters should focus only on this role and not perform any other tasks while equipment is being moved or operated near hazardous conditions like power lines.

What to do if your equipment comes into contact with a power line

Always assume the line is active. No one should come near or touch the equipment or machine. Maintain a safe distance and contact us for assistance.

How to safely exit equipment in an emergency

Do your best to jump completely clear without ever touching the equipment and the ground at the same time. Land with both feet together and keep them together. Shuffle away from the equipment in small steps, never taking either foot off the ground as you do so. This reduces your risk of electrical shock.

Free safety brochures

Having the right resources can go a long way to keeping best safety practices fresh in your mind and a priority for your team. Get free safety brochures sent to you and your team, or get special on-site trainings from our Emergency Preparedness or Energy Delivery and Integrity teams to make sure you’re starting your job with the right practices in place. To request free brochures or training, submit an email request to with the subject heading “Free Safety Brochures” or “Free Safety Training.” Include in the body of the email your name, company/organization, valid mailing address or worksite location and your desired brochure quantity or the number of team members you wish to receive the training.