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 or email


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 or emailing 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:

  1. Identify the work area.
  2. 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).
  3. 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 or

Additional information is available in Altec's crane operation around power lines flowchart Document is a PDF .

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Vehicles and heavy equipment

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’
115,000V 11’
230,000V 13’
500,000V 18’

These distances equate to a phase-to-ground exposure for these voltage categories.

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Safety training

SRP Safety Connection Logo

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.

  • Annual free safety workshop – To help you work safely, SRP hosts a free Overhead and Underground Electrical Safety Workshop every February.
  • 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 or email

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Additional resources



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