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Working around power lines? Think, look up and live

This article was published in July 2020 and may be outdated.

On June 3, a construction worker was rushed to Pinawa Hospital in stable condition with electrical burns after he was shocked by 7,200 volts.

It’s an all-too-vivid reminder when operating machinery near power lines to always take a moment to look up.

The man was pouring concrete for a house foundation and was standing near a concrete pumping truck. The boom on the truck contacted a power line, which sent electricity down the boom and through the vehicle, where it arced to him. Witnesses say it looked like he was pulled backward by something; burn marks show the electricity came in through his elbow, went through his body, and found ground at his boots. He was wearing CSA-approved dielectric boots, but they were covered in wet mud. The truck was also damaged.

All it took was a second or two.

We know time is important. We know keeping deadlines is difficult. But when you’re working around electrical equipment, even in your backyard, it’s better to slow down, think and look up.

Learn what to do if someone or equipment touches a power line.