It's common knowledge that making direct contact with an overhead or underground line can cause significant damage to your equipment and, more importantly, result in serious injury or even death.
What's not commonly known is that you don't need to touch a power line for it to be dangerous. Coming within 7 metres of an energized line still puts you, and anyone nearby, at risk of an arc flash.
Arc flashes are electrical explosions that happen when electric current flows through an air gap between conductors. Arc flashes expel deadly amounts of energy and can reach temperatures as high as 19,400°C — that's almost four times hotter than the sun. Even from a distance, that heat can set fire to clothing and burn human skin within milliseconds. Arc flashes also release explosive sound and pressure waves, sometimes with enough strength to knock workers off balance and rupture eardrums, causing hearing loss. The pressure blast of an arc flash can result in impact injury from being thrown, falling from a height, or colliding with nearby objects.