BC Hydro Public Safety Update - June 2019

Safety Alert Type: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
BC Hydro
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Workers can be exposed to the serious hazard of electricity in a number of occupations. Members of the public are also at risk.

BC Hydro reminds everyone to avoid downed power lines, always look up and identify overhead hazards, and follow safe excavation practices by calling BC One Call before you dig (at 1-800-474-6886).

Here are some selected incidents for the period of April – June:

Learnings and Suggestions: 

SAFETY INCIDENTS - Trees and Forestry

  • A crew responded to a wire down call. Upon arrival, they discovered that a member of the public had cut a tree into the high voltage line and was still bucking up the tree near the ungrounded line.
  • A crew responded to tree on wire call. When PLT arrived the PLT could see evidence of the tree being cut.
  • A feller buncher operator grabbed a tree and it broke off falling on a high voltage line.
  • A customer decided to clear vines growing on his house service connection with a reciprocating saw (“Sawzall”). During the clearing process he cut through the service wire and experienced an arc.
  • A crew responded to a call of a tree on a service. When they arrived on scene, it was a tree on the high voltage line that was still energized. The tree was approx. 5' from metal gate on driveway. The customer was approaching the gate and the crew told them to stand clear.
  • A crew responded to a call of a tree on a service. When they arrived it was apparent that customer had been trying to remove tree from the service himself.
  • A feller buncher working near a line cut a tree and the top appears to have broken off and come through the high voltage line.
  • A homeowner borrowed a man lift from a friend to trim several large trees in preparation to cut them down. He lost control of a limb and it fell into the line to his property.
  • A customer cut down a tree on his property. It brought down a span of high voltage line and blew the fuse.

SAFETY INCIDENTS - Other sectors

  • An excavator moving in a yard with its boom up hooked onto a communication line and broke a pole. The pole landed on a parked logging truck and 3 spans of high voltage line also came down.
  • An excavator was removing large trees located approximately 40 feet from a high voltage line by pushing them over in the direction opposite to power line. Tree roots caused tree to pivot and fall in wrong direction, contacting a high voltage line.

Electrical Safety Awareness Training BC Hydro provides electrical safety awareness training for trades workers, first responders, and members of the public who may have interaction with our facilities. The training is provided free of charge, and it is available both online and in person. For details visit www.bchydro.com/safetytraining

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Marc Spencer, BC Hydro Public Safety, at 604-528-1952 or by email at marc.spencer@bchydro.com


File attachments
BC Hydro Public Safety Update-June 2019.pdf
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