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Working around power lines?

Look up and live!

Manitoba Hydro’s power line system includes over one million wood poles and 90,000 kilometres of wire to distribute electricity.

Power lines are everywhere, so be careful when working around them. All it takes is a moment to look up. And be extra careful when working near the service line – the line from the pole to your house – to ensure neither you or your tools contact it.

Contacting an overhead power line can result in serious injury or death. Follow these tips when working near power lines:

Look up

Before starting any outdoor project at home or at the worksite, carefully check the area to identify where power lines might pose a hazard. Be especially aware of power lines that may be hidden by trees or buildings.

Stay back 3 metres

You don’t have to touch a power line to be shocked – even killed. If you get too close, electricity can jump, or “arc,” to equipment, vehicles, tools, and you. Maintain a distance of at least 3 metres from all power lines. And always lower the boxes of dump trucks, grain augers, and other machinery before moving under power lines.

Use a spotter

No equipment operator working alone can safely judge the distance from the equipment to overhead power lines. A spotter on the ground has a much better view to help you stay clear.

Carry ladders sideways

Never carry ladders upright, as they may contact a power line. Look for overhead power lines before standing up a ladder.

Plant trees away from overhead power lines

Prevent a problem in the future by planting trees where they won’t grow into power lines. Do not prune trees around power lines yourself. Contact a qualified arborist to do the job. Read Right Tree – Right Place (PDF, 1.6 MB) for ideal vegetation options under power lines.

Click or call before you dig

Power lines and natural gas lines may be buried underground. Before you dig, drill, or excavate, contact to have underground lines marked so you can dig safely.

Learn more safety tips.