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​Employers and contractors should consult the Alberta OHS Act, Regulation, and Code for more information on safe work planning as this is an overview and does not provide all the requirements.

A site visit is required to assess the hazards. Always consider electrical utilities to be live with the potential of causing serious injury or death. Legislation requires that all work related hazards be identified and that unsupervised work be performed by those workers deemed competent.

According to Alberta OHS Code, Part 1, Definitions and General Application (Edmonton, Alberta: Alberta Queen's Printer, 2009. Print.),

"Competent in relation to a person, means adequately qualified, suitably trained and with sufficient experience to safely perform without supervision or with only a minimal degree of supervision".

For more information:

  • 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

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.

Field Level Hazard Assessments
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.
Electrical Hazards

Employers are required to ensure that employees, tools, materials, equipment, and mobile equipment used in work do not come within 7 m of overhead power lines. In developing a safe work plan, consider electrical 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.

Call or click before you dig

1 (800) 242-3447

The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code, the Alberta Electrical Utility Code, and the Alberta Pipeline Regulation require that 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.

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