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Safe work planning

Employers and contractors should consult the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Regulation and Code, and follow these guidelines before working at any site.

The following is an overview on safe work planning and does not list all the requirements employers and contractors must meet to work safely.

Legislation requires that all work-related hazards be identified and that unsupervised work be performed by those workers deemed competent.


Assess the hazards

A site visit is required to assess common work hazards such as overhead power lines, underground utilities, and scaffolding. Practice electrical safety and always consider electrical utilities to be live with the potential of causing serious injury or death.

Think safe. Work safe. Home safe.

Assessment resources

  • Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code: Part 2 Hazard Assessment, Elimination, and Control.
  • 7 (1) An employer must assess a work site and identify existing and potential hazards before work begins at the work site or prior to the construction of a new work site.
  • 7 (2) An employer must prepare a report of the results of a hazard assessment and the methods used to control or eliminate the hazards identified.
  • 7 (3) An employer must ensure that the date on which the hazard assessment is prepared or revised is recorded on it.

Formal hazard assessment

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Field level hazard assessment

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Electrical hazards

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  Formal hazard assessment

The documented safe work plan must identify and evaluate occupational health and safety hazards, and identify the controls used to mitigate those hazards. Hazard assessments must be reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure that existing controls are effective.

For employers, get more information on formal hazard assessments with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety's Hazard Assessment and Control: A handbook for Alberta employers and workers.

  Field level hazard assessment

A field level hazard assessment is site specific. The employee in charge at the site will ensure a safe work plan is developed. All employees on site must assist in hazard identification and mitigation. Employees must constantly assess the hazards, and if required, stop the work and revise the safe work plan identifying new hazards and controls for those hazards. Additional workers or visitors to the site should review and sign off on the primary safe work plan or field level hazard assessment form.

For employers, get more information on field level hazard assessments with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety's Hazard Assessment and Control: A handbook for Alberta employers and workers.

For employees, get more information on the right to a safe and healthy workplace on the Know Your Rights - Report Unsafe Working Conditions and Alberta OH&S's Hazard Assessment and Control: A handbook for Alberta employers and workers.

  Electrical hazards

Employers are required to ensure that employees, tools, materials, equipment, and mobile equipment used in work do not come within 7 metres of overhead power lines. In developing a safe work plan, consider electrical hazards and safety, and factors that include, but are not limited to:

  • Ground disturbance, including utility locating and excavating.
  • Height and reach of the equipment in proximity to energized overhead electrical equipment.
  • Equipment placement.
  • Use of conducting materials.
  • Need to notify and/or seek assistance from the electric utility owner.

Electrical hazard resources:

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code, Part 17 Overhead Power Lines, Safe limit of approach distances (Section 225). (1) An employer must contact the power line operator BEFORE work is done or equipment is operated within 7.0 metres of an energized overhead power line.

Alberta Electrical and Utility Code (AEUC)

  1. Activities near overhead power lines (Section 2-014)
  2. Buildings and objects near overhead equipment or lines (Section 2-014)
  3. Moving equipment or buildings (Section 2-018).

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code, Part 32 Excavating and Tunneling, in particular:

  1. Disturbing the ground (Section 441)
  2. Locating buried facilities (Section 447)
  3. Exposing buried facilities (Section 448)

Alberta Electrical and Utility Code (AEUC), Excavation work in the vicinity of underground power lines (Section 2-020).

Have questions or want to set up a worksite consultation?

Call Power Trouble at (780) 412-4500 and ask for a referral to a Safety Codes Officer.

Locates

The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code, the Alberta Electrical Utility Code, and the Alberta Pipeline Regulation require that a locate request be performed and the locations of all buried utilities be marked before a ground disturbance begins. Utilities and homeowners (e.g., security lighting) that are not members of Alberta One Call must be contacted directly for locates. All locates must be current and on site throughout the excavation.

Note: All cables must be treated as energized throughout the excavation process.

  • In the City of Edmonton, EPCOR's locate contractor will only locate primary power lines up to the primary metering point, and secondary power lines located on public property and single-family residential lots.
  • Secondary power lines located on private property in multifamily, commercial or industrial lots, as well as primary power lines located past the primary metering point, will need to be located by the facility owner or through private locates.
  • If you are working adjacent to transmission facilities (72 kV and 240 kV underground lines) your Alberta One Call ticket will indicate that you must first contact and receive clearance from EPCOR Transmission prior to excavation. EPCOR will locate these facilities on site or contact you to provide you with clearance after you receive your Alberta Once Call Ticket. You are not cleared to excavate until clearance from EPCOR Transmission is provided.
  • Multiple circuits can be present in the same alignment. EPCOR's locate contractor will mark separate circuits where separation exists or will indicate the presence of multiple power lines on your ticket. EPCOR power lines may be direct buried or be installed inside a conduit. In three phase areas, there are three power cables for every circuit which may be separated by up to 1 m. EPCOR can provide additional information on the number of cables.
  • If your dig site involves electrical facilites, call us at (780) 412-4500 and ask for a referral to a Safety Codes Officer. We can help with locates and provide advice on how to work safely around overhead and underground power lines.
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Click or call before you dig

Ph: 1 (800) 242-3447
Website: Albertaonecall.com  

 


Disclaimer

This webpage provides information regarding safe work practices in relation to EPCOR power facilities. Employers and contractors have responsibilities under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (Alberta OHS) Act, Code, and Regulation. When there is a conflict between this document and any bylaws, legislation, or regulation, the relevant law prevails. Any reliance placed on this information is strictly at your own risk. EPCOR does not assume any responsibility or liability for any action, loss or damage that arises out of, or is in connection with the information contained in this webpage.