Think Before You Dig: Electrical Safety
Think Before You Dig Electrical Safety

Whether you are a contractor or a do-it-yourselfer, it’s important to realize that digging without knowing what’s underground can be dangerous, even deadly. It’s imperative that you take the time to familiarize yourself with potential problem areas and safety procedures before you even begin a yard excavation in Anaconda, MT. This article post will give you the steps you need to take to protect against electrical accidents.

Plan ahead

The single most important thing you can do is plan ahead. Every digging project in the State of Montana requires that you call ahead of time to have someone mark any underground electrical lines. The Federal Communications Commission has made this step easy and free by creating 811. When you call 811, someone will come out from your local utility company to mark any potential electrical hazards prior to the start of your project. However, be aware that you must call at least 48 hours before you intend to start your project.

Check and double check

Even though a professional will come out to mark underground wires, there are still other potential electrical hazards you need to be aware of. First, depending on the type of equipment you’ll be using, you may need to consider electrical lines above your job site as well. If any of your equipment could come within 10 feet of overhead electrical wires, contact the utility company and let them know.

You should also consider other electrical wires that would not have been installed by the utility company. For example, have you had any landscape lighting put in, possibly a cable to exterior lights, or even power lines to an outdoor spa or pool? These are all things you should double check for yourself before you start digging.

Know what to do in an emergency

Accidents can still happen, no matter how careful you are, so that’s why it’s important to know what to do in case you should hit a live wire. First, if you hit a line, even if you just nicked it and no one got hurt, don’t touch it or try to fix it yourself. Call the utility company immediately. Repairs to a line should be made by a professional lineman only.

If you hit a power line while on your equipment, stay on your equipment until help arrives. You don’t want to risk getting electrocuted by any live current running through your equipment or the ground. Finally, if someone is electrocuted, make sure you don’t touch them until you are certain the current is no longer live. Call 911 immediately and administer first aid / CPS as needed.

Knowing how to watch out for potential electrical hazards is imperative when planning yard excavation in Anaconda, MT. Taking the time to plan, double check, and know what to do in case of an electrical emergency will not only protect you from fines and damages, it could also protect you from harm.

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