Electrical Ground Safety

It is critical to understand where electricity is located on a jobsite in order to avoid electrocutions of electrical workers.

In the Ground

  • Before any digging takes place, even with a shovel, utility locates are required. Some lines are barely beneath the surface.
  • Locates include sewer, telephone, fuel, electric and water lines.
  • Outline / mark your planned dig site in white.
  • Two business days before you dig, CALL 811. Remember, the day you call does not count.
  • Do not dig until all known utilities are marked.
  • Maintain all marks.
  •  Determine the precise location of the marked utilities by hand digging.
  • Dig safely using proven excavating methods.
  • Use handheld digging tools when digging within 24 inches of the outside edge of any underground lines .
  • Emergency excavation is not exempt from calling for locate.
  • Locate marks expire 45 days from the date the excavator provides notice.
  • Use pot-holing, vacuum excavation, or hand tools when digging close to lines.

Best Practices for Maintaining Locate Marks

  • Preserve or protect as much of the original marks as possible.
  • Use off-set staking, in areas where original locate marks will be continuously destroyed by excavation or weather.
  • The off-set staking must be uniformly aligned and must be accurately indicated at the location of the original locate
  • markings.
  • Digital scaled photo, or other permanent scaled imaging or drawings, may be used in areas where original locate
  • marks will be destroyed by excavation or weather.
  • Use white paint to maintain the original markings.
  • Bookend the original locate marks with solid white squares or brackets.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • What lines are you likely to hit when digging at the surface?
  • What does red concrete indicate?