Safety for contractors
At construction sites, many serious injuries and deaths occur due to contact with overhead or underground electrical power lines by both workers and equipment.
Most power line accidents can be prevented by following proper safety standards. To stay safe:
- Familiarize yourself with Arizona's overhead power line and digging/excavating laws.
- Know minimum clearance distance requirements as required by OSHA .
- At least two working days before you dig, call 811 (formerly Arizona Blue Stake, Inc.) or create an online ticket .
- Plan ahead and know what to do if someone comes in contact with a live electrical wire.
- Always assume lines are energized and could result in electrical shock. Insulation on power lines is often there to protect the lines, not people.
- When in doubt, call SRP at (602) 236-8117.
SRP is here to assist you in creating a safety plan. Schedule a planning meeting with an SRP Safety Specialist by calling (602) 236-8117. Our Safety Specialists can provide guidance regarding OSHA regulations, SRP requirements, the voltage of power lines, OSHA required minimum clearances, and assist with de-energizing the line if necessary.
To prevent encroachment/electrocution, do not operate any equipment closer than the minimum clearance distance requirements identified in OSHA Subpart CC - Cranes and Derricks in Construction; 1926.1408 .
Before operating a crane, take the time to:
- Identify the work area.
- Determine if any part of the equipment, load line or load, if operated up to the equipment’s maximum working radius, COULD get closer than 20 feet from the power line (if the line is less than 350,000 volts) or 50 feet from the power line (if the line is more than 350,000 volts).
- If any part of the equipment, load line or load, if operated up to the equipment’s maximum working radius, COULD get closer to the power line than 20 feet or 50 feet, as applicable, then you must contact SRP at (602) 236-8117.
Additional information is available in Altec's crane operation around power lines flowchart .
When operating equipment other than cranes, derricks and hoisting equipment, observe clearances noted in the table below. If you do not know the voltage of the power line, call SRP at (602) 236-8117.
To learn more about operating vehicles and heavy equipment near power lines, refer to OSHA Subpart O – Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment; 1926.600 .
Specified clearances for vehicles and heavy equipment for phase-to-phase rated lines:
|Line Voltage∗||Minimum clearance in feet|
|69,000V and below||10’|
∗These distances equate to a phase-to-ground exposure for these voltage categories.
As part of our commitment to safety, SRP Safety Connection™ offers the following free resources and training to promote safety for those working around overhead and underground power lines.
- Attend a free safety workshop – To help you work safely, SRP is hosting a free Overhead and Underground Electrical Safety Workshop in February. Space is limited, register today.
- Electrical power line safety presentation – To help contractors reduce the risk of electricity-related accidents, SRP Safety Specialists offer a free, one-hour electrical safety awareness program that focuses on working near underground or overhead electrical transmission and distribution systems. The program features an energized power line model to demonstrate the effects of electrical contact and how to avoid it.
This presentation also covers requirements of the Arizona Overhead Power Line Safety Law (ARS 40-360.41), the Arizona Underground Utility Law (ARS 40-360.28) and the Arizona Excavation Law.
To request a presentation, call (602) 236-8117.
- Call Arizona811 (formerly Arizona Blue Stake, Inc.) before you dig.
- Learn about the laws that impact you from the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) .
- The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZ ROC) provides information on becoming a licensed contractor.
- Discover how the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AZAGC) promotes and supports Arizona's construction industry.
- The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) includes the latest construction safety requirements, training materials and resources for contractors.
- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) contains information about contractor safety and how it applies to you.
- Explore federal standards related to your health and the environment as mandated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) .
- National Safety Council (NSC) is a comprehensive resource for workplace safety.
- The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC of America) tracks the latest in construction industry issues.