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Look up and live. Look out for power lines:

  • Survey your job site every day to locate overhead power lines, poles, guy wires, and pad-mounted equipment, and point them out to coworkers.
  • Watch for overhead power lines hidden by trees or buildings. If you suspect hidden power lines, talk to the utility company, inspectors, and experienced colleagues about your concerns. Call 811 to request underground power lines be marked, to request voltage information, or to identify the operating utility.
  • Watch for equipment on the ground that may be hidden by bushes or small trees.
  • Check all of the above daily as conditions may change

Alert others about lines at your pre-job briefing.
Make sure everyone at the job site knows about nearby overhead and underground utilities and where they are located. Whether they are operating heavy equipment, using handheld tools, or climbing ladders, all workers on site must be aware of power lines.

Assume all power lines are energized and potentially dangerous, including the service drop wires that run from utility poles to buildings.

MIOSHA safety standards require that anyone working near power lines stay at least 10 feet away, including any tools or equipment you are using. Metal ladders, cranes and some other specialized equipment require 20 feet of clearance. Higher voltages also may require greater distances. Contact MIOSHA for specific requirements.


Before any work begins, always complete a pre-job safety briefing to ensure safety concerns are identified and mitigated. This includes examining the work site carefully for overhead utilities.


Workers survey work site