OSHA Downed Electrical Wires Fact Sheet
Working Safely Around Downed Electrical Wires
Electrical hazards multiply for workers involved in cleanup and recovery efforts following major disasters and weather emergencies. Life-threatening danger exists around downed and low-hanging electrical wires which can still be energized following a storm.
Always consider all electrical equipment, lines and conductors to be energized. If you notice downed wires or damaged electrical equipment, contact appropriate utility personnel if you can. Circuits do not always turn off when a power line falls into a tree or onto the ground. Reloaders automatically try to reset circuits and restore power when it is interrupted. Even if electric lines are not sparking or humming, fallen electric lines can electrocute you if you touch them or the ground nearby.
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