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Stay safe. Know the dangers.

If you’re working on a project that involves the use of cranes, dump trucks, boom trucks, ladder trucks, bucket trucks, scaffolds, ladders or antennas, you will likely be working close to overhead power lines. Contact with a live power line can cause severe injuries and in some cases, death.

Make the area safe. It’s the law.

The Construction Projects Regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Ontario), states that it is the constructor’s responsibility to assess hazards and ensure that everyone on the work site adheres to the safe limits of approach for live lines. Otherwise, your work site could be shut down. A constructor may be a property owner, contractor or other party.

Should an injury occur, you could be held liable. Toronto Hydro is not responsible for the safety of the work site or the workers on site.

If you’re working near overhead power lines, you must do one of two things:

  1. Call Toronto Hydro for more information about having your power lines de-energized (power temporarily cut off) or relocated/removed, or
  2. Call Toronto Hydro to have the lines covered. This makes the lines highly visible to remind workers about the overhead danger.

There is a fee for these services. Call ahead to get an estimate and a schedule for the installation of power line covers. Please note that work may be performed by a contractor authorized by Toronto Hydro. Call 416.542.2618 for details.

Take care with all lines

Contact with any power line, even a residential (secondary) one, could cause severe injury or death. That’s why it’s important that proper precautions are taken to protect workers.

The law requires that people and equipment keep a minimum distance of three metres from high voltage power lines (between 750 volts and 150,000 volts; other voltage levels have separate requirements). Pay special attention to lines that cross roads or other approaches for equipment and vehicles.

All lines must be treated as high voltage lines until the voltage has been identified by Toronto Hydro.

Survey your work site well in advance

Before you start any construction project, review the job with your contractors, pointing out the location of all overhead and underground power lines within or near the work area.

A signal person must be available

A signal person must be on hand to assist the operator whenever equipment, such as a crane, similar hoisting device, backhoe, power shovel or other vehicle is near overhead power lines.

Devices and signs must be posted

Adequate warning devices, visible to equipment operators, must be positioned in the vicinity of the hazard to warn them of the potential electrical hazard of overhead lines.

Operators must be provided with written notice of the hazard before they commence work. Warning signs must also be posted at the operator’s station.

Inspect your power line covers daily

If you have covers installed, you must inspect them each day before work starts. Look for gaps and loose or fallen line covers. If you notice any exposed wires or equipment, call Toronto Hydro and we will make the necessary repairs. Only Toronto Hydro or one of our authorized contractors may install or repair line covers and only Toronto Hydro line covers may be used on Toronto Hydro power lines.

Toronto Hydro or one of our contractors will inspect the line covers every two weeks.

Power line covers retested every six months

Toronto Hydro safety practices require that all line protection covers be removed, tested and replaced every six months.

Important note: Covered lines draw attention to the dangers of live power lines — they do not protect against the hazards of contact. Covered or uncovered treat all lines as high voltage lines. 



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