Powerline Safety in Ontario
From 1998 to 2004, 46 electrocutions occurred in Ontario as a result of contact with powerlines. Powerline contact represents 75% of all outdoor fatalities, and 75% of occupational deaths involving powerline contact results from ladders contacting powerlines.
The Electrical Safety Authority and Local Distribution Companies are working together to remind Ontarians of the potential hazards associated with overhead powerlines, and to re-educate them on the importance of following basic safety steps to keep themselves safe at Home, at Play, and at Work.
A recent random survey of over 2,000 residents across Ontario relayed that the general public associates the highest possible risk (fatality) with contacting electrical powerlines. A total of 12% of respondents associated none to a moderate risk of injury associated with contacting electrical powerlines – these individuals are at risk and we hope to reach them with our important safety messages.
In the same survey we asked, respondents if there are overhead electrical wires where they live - 30 % were not sure - these individuals are at risk and we hope they “Look Up and Look Out.”
We asked respondents if they do work around the house, and if they have taken the time to identify and take precautions to work around overhead powerlines. A total of 83% of respondents took the time to identify the location of overhead powerlines, and 89% took precautions to ensure they were not putting themselves at risk when working near overhead powerlines. We hope that the 17% who don’t, will learn to “Look Up, Look Out and Locate.”
How Electricity Flows…
Electricity is carried from the Generating Plants through transmission lines across Ontario to a number of local distribution stations. These stations step down high-voltage electricity to a low voltage level suitable for Ontario’s distribution system which supplies local customers - including: homes, schools, stores, etc.
A local distribution system can consist of overhead powerlines or underground powerlines. Overhead powerlines include transformers on poles that step down voltage to a level suitable for home consumption. In neighborhoods with underground powerlines; green transformer boxes can be seen on certain front lawns. These green transformer boxes are part of the electricity distribution system and step down voltage to a level suitable for home consumption.