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Workplace Electrical Safety

Safety Tips

  • If you operate heavy equipment, such as a backhoe, dump truck, bucket truck or crane, you should use a spotter when working near power lines. Workers on ladders and scaffolding or those handling long equipment or tools should look up and keep at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • If the job requires special attention around the lines, call Ameren to determine if an Ameren crew should be dispatched to disconnect or cover power lines so work can be performed safely.
  • Use caution when working around utility poles or guy wires.
  • Always assume power lines are live. This applies to power lines on utility poles as well as those near homes and buildings. Even though you may notice a covering on a line, never assume it is safe to touch. Even momentary contact with power lines can cause injury or death.     
  • Keep all cranes, scaffolding and high reach equipment away from power lines. Contact with a power line can cause serious burns or electrocution. Stay at least 10 feet away from low voltage lines and 25 feet from high voltage lines. If clearance cannot be obtained, request that Ameren de-energize the lines. 
  • Exercise precautions when using ladders or cleaning near a service drop. The wires are covered with weatherproofing material, not insulation. The material can become brittle or cracked and may expose energized wires.
  • Be cautious around guy wires that support utility poles. Be careful not to run over or into them with equipment or vehicles. Report any damaged guy wires to Ameren.
  • Keep yourself and others away from any fallen power lines.Call Ameren immediately to report the location of the down wires.

More on Missouri's Overhead Power Line Safety Act.

If contact is made with high-voltage power lines:

  • Do not move. Stay in place on the equipment until help arrives. Do not touch any metal while on the equipment. Do not break contact by moving the machine out of place.
  • If it is absolutely necessary to get off the equipment, jump as far out as possible, land with both feet together and hop - do not walk or run. The ground is energized around the area and could create an electrical path through your body if your feet are apart.
  • If a co-worker has come into contact with a high-voltage line, do not attempt to touch him or her or go near the area until power has been shut off.


Power down whenever possible. Working on energized equipment greatly increases risk of injury and death.

Lockout/Tagout and Test Before You Touch

Each worksite is dynamic. Following these key principles can prevent shock - or worse.

Arc Flash Prevention and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In the blink of an eye, an arc flash can forever change a life. Protect yourself and others by choosing the appropriate equipment for the job.

Job Planning and Work Permits

Assess the hazards and define the tasks each job will entail.

Alert Info