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Safety Information for Contractors

Guelph Hydro reminds you to carefully plan your work to ensure safety in the work place.

Construction and home renovation sites are places where electricity is used constantly. Many job site accidents are caused when equipment such as ladders, excavators, and dump trucks come into contact with overhead or underground power lines.

Make sure workers on the site are trained properly and are aware of these potential hazards. And be aware that on a construction site, you must use either ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or assured equipment grounding conductor programs to protect your employees from the risk of electric shock.

You can learn more about workplace safety by visiting the Health & Safety Ontario website.

If a power line comes down on the job site:

To report downed electrical wires, children playing near power lines and other emergency situations, please call 911.

Always assume that downed power lines are energized.

  • Never try to move downed wires or remove tree limbs.
  • Keep people at least 20 metres (65 feet) away and warn others of the danger.

Why stay 20 metres away from a downed power line?

If a broken power line falls to the ground or lands on a vehicle, electricity will flow to the ground and spread out in concentric circles like the ripples in a pool of water.

Voltage is very high at the point where electricity makes contact with the ground. The level of intensity decreases as the distance increases from the point of contact. Zero voltage is approximately 10 metres (33 feet) from the point of contact. If you stay 20 metres away, you should be safe.

If a person comes into contact with a downed power line

  • Do not attempt to rescue the person. You could become a victim yourself.
  • Stay at least 20 metres (65 feet) away.
  • Call 9-1-1.

If motorized equipment or vehicles make contact with an energized line

If motorized equipment or a vehicle makes contact with an energized line, stay inside until help arrives. If you must get out because of fire, jump out with your feet together and shuffle away, never allowing the heel of one foot to move beyond the toe of the other. If you cannot shuffle the 20 metres (65 feet) away from the energized area, put your feet together and hop - but never walk or make contact with the ground and your vehicle at the same time. Keep your feet together until you are 20 metres (65 feet) from the point of contact.

Hot electrical currents can affect the performance of your tires. Do not drive your vehicle until the tires have cooled for at least one hour and you've inspected them for damage. If the tires are damaged, do not drive the vehicle. Have a licensed mechanic do a full inspection of your vehicle's tires, hydraulic and computer systems.

For more information about electrical safety, please contact the Electrical Safety Authority at 1-877-372-7233 or visit their website at

Call Before You Dig

Building a deck? Excavating for an expansion? Expanding your parking lot? What You Can't See, Can Hurt You!
Take a moment and contact Ontario One Call at 1.800.400.2255 before you dig. It's free!

It is getting pretty crowded underground. There could be gas pipelines, electrical services, telephone and cable TV as well as water and sewer connections. In addition to these types of buried services to your home or business, there could be distribution networks for utilities that serve your neighbourhood and community. In some cases, such as pipelines and fiber optic cables, they may even be part of a national route.

Failure to obtain locates leading to subsequent utility damages carry multiple fines, fees to repair damaged utilities, and more. However, the most important reason to get locates is to put safety first!

Before starting any digging or drilling around your house or business

Contact Ontario One Call to locate all underground utilities (electricity, gas, telephone, etc.) before you dig. This free service could save your life - or the life of a family member or employee.

It is also the law under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act: all underground utilities must be located before you dig.

You can reach Ontario One Call at 1.800.400.2255 or visit them online .

How does Ontario One Call Work?

The very first step is to determine whether you, the Homeowner, will complete your excavation or if you will be hiring someone to complete the excavation for you (Landscapers, Fence Post Companies, etc.). The person physically completing the excavation is responsible for obtaining locates, regardless of whose property the excavation is occurring on. For example, if you have hired a landscaper to work in your backyard, they are required to have locates in their company's name.

The next step to planning your locate request is to provide Ontario One Call's Members with notice of your job. Ontario One Call requires a minimum of five business day's notice to complete a locate.

Once those two steps have been completed, submit your locate request by visiting or calling 1.800.400.2255. For the fastest telephone service, try calling in the evening (after 7:00 PM).

Ontario One Call is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year to take your locate request!

For more information, visit the Ontario One Call website ( )

Don't Forget to Look Up!

And when you are planning a project, don't just think about what is underground. Look up! If you are working at any height near hydro wires, keep in mind where a branch you are sawing may land or where you need to manoeuvre a ladder. If you have any doubt about the safety of your project, please call our office at 519.822-3010.


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