Electrical Safety in the Workplace
Call 811 at least 48 hours before you plan to dig on your property for any reason. Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 to locate underground utility lines in your work area. Bandera Electric will be contacted in order to locate primary power lines nearby. You must take advantage of this free service, as you could be liable for damages if underground facilities are affected by digging.
For more information or to submit your request online, visit the Texas 811 website.
There are three organizations, the National Electrical Safety Code, National Electric Code and the State of Texas that influence these general standards. When the standard varies, the strictest option is required. If code standards are in question, members are encouraged to contact their local code authority.
Vertical Clearance for Energized Lines from 0 to 750 volts*
|Public streets, alleys, roads and highways
|Commercial driveways, parking lots & other areas subject to truck traffic
|Other land with vehicle traffic
|Spaces or ways with pedestrian traffic
|Spaces with limited building height (300 volts or less)
||No lower than 10.5 feet
|Rural land beside roadway
|Urban land beside roadway
|Building roofs (no pedestrians)
|Building roofs (with pedestrians)
|Signs, chimneys, antennas, tanks
*For clearance information on lines energized above 750 volts, contact BEC.
BEC follows the range of service voltages in use by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for Electric Power Systems and Equipment C84.1-1989. The term “service voltage” is defined as the point where BEC's electrical system connects with that of a member.
Many of our members rely on generators during storms or for other temporary or remote power needs. However, there are a number of hazards involved—including shock and electrocution, fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Please know the risks and proper safety procedures before using any portable generator.
Drivers may come in contact with power poles or lines in an auto accident or during a storm. The vehicle or ground can become electrified and you or anybody else around runs the risk of electrocution.
In the event of fire, jump clear of the vehicle, making sure not to touch the car and the ground at the same time. Then, hop with both feet together to move farther away. Otherwise, follow these steps:
- As long as the vehicle is in contact with a line, do not step off.
- Call for help and wait until a utility professional says it’s safe to leave the vehicle.
- Warn others to stay away.
- If the equipment is operable and can be moved out of contact without doing additional damage to the line or poles, do so.
Learn more here.
People, cars, and power lines don’t mix. Unfortunately, automobile accidents or extreme weather events can bring them together. When an overhead power line is down, anything it contacts may become electrified—including the ground. Touching or stepping anywhere near these areas puts first responders in danger of electrocution, whether you are moving toward or away from the area. Walking through an affected area is particularly dangerous, as each footfall may land in different voltage zones—causing a fatal charge to travel up one leg and down the other.
Always assume that a downed wire is energized and contact BEC immediately. Once the line has been de-energized, BEC personnel will notify first responders that it is safe to perform rescue and recovery, traffic control, and other important tasks.
In the event of an automobile accident involving power poles or electricity lines, follow these steps:
- Stay back and warn others to stay back.
- Make sure all vehicle occupants stay inside until BEC has arrived to de-energize the lines.
- If the equipment is operable and can be safely moved out of contact without doing additional damage to the line or poles, ask the driver do so.
- In the event of fire, instruct the driver and any passengers to jump clear of the vehicle, making sure not to touch the car and the ground at the same time. Then, hop with both feet together to move farther away.