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March 25, 2015

AltaLink encourages safety around power lines – stay 25 feet or 7 metres away

CALGARY, Alberta

Spring has arrived in Alberta, which means crops are ready to be planted, construction is ready to begin and fields are ready for work. When you head out to work this spring, be aware of the power lines in your area. Whether they’re above your head or beneath your feet, power lines can pose a dangerous hazard to workers who perform activities near electrical infrastructure.

Every day, two to three Albertans needlessly risk their lives by coming into contact with a power line. If you’re working near overhead power lines, always keep your equipment seven metres (25 feet) away from the line. When raised, most heavy construction and farming equipment, including dump trucks, track hoes and air seeders, is tall enough to make contact with an overhead power line, which may result in serious injury or death.

“Last year there were hundreds of incidents in Alberta where people contacted power lines. Although power line contacts can have an impact on the electric system, our main concern is the injuries and fatalities these contacts can result in,” says Rod Kause, vice president of safety, health and environment AltaLink. “Seeding season is a time of year where we can see more contacts with power lines. After a long Alberta winter, it’s important to remember to be aware of the power lines on or near your property, especially when moving large or tall equipment into fields.”

As Alberta’s largest transmission owner, AltaLink has a number of structures and lines on or crossing farmland. When working the land around electrical facilities, here are some things to remember:

  • Power lines are at their lowest at the middle of the span between two structures. If you’re moving equipment under the line, try to be closer to a structure where you’ll have the most available clearance.
  • Never approach a downed power line. Never touch any wire with your hand or any object. If you see a downed line, immediately notify your electricity service provider and stay at least 10 metres away from the area.
  • If you use a GPS in your farming operations, be aware of the risk that GPS technologies may not take into account the height or location of power lines in your area. Know the height and width of your equipment and pay close attention to the distance between your equipment and potential power line hazards. Newer AltaLink structures and lines are designed to accommodate equipment up to 20 feet in height, but older lines were designed for a maximum equipment height of 14 to 16 feet.
  • When transporting oversized loads, ensure you are following provincial regulations and know the height clearance of your vehicle. Remember, there should be at least seven metres between the top of your equipment and the power line.
  • Never spray water hoses or irrigation pivots at power lines.
  • Back hoes and digging equipment are a major cause of underground power line contacts. Never dig if are unsure about the location of an underground line and always call Alberta One Call (1-800-242-3447) before starting digging activities.

More information on working safely around power lines can be found Here

Headquartered in Calgary, with offices in Edmonton, Red Deer and Lethbridge, AltaLink is Alberta's largest electricity transmission provider. We are committed to meeting the province’s demand for electricity, providing innovative solutions, and partnering with our stakeholders and communities in doing so. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, AltaLink is part of a global group of companies delivering electricity and utility services to customers worldwide.

For more information please contact:

Media Relations
Scott Schreiner
Director, External Engagement
AltaLink Management Ltd.
Phone: 403.267.2176
E-mail: Scott.Schreiner@AltaLink.ca

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