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Fleet safety tip: Fallen power lines

Friday, August 26, 2016

By: Terry Horrocks, Manager, Fleet Risk & Safety, Element Fleet Management

As we move closer to the end of summer and into the early beginnings of fall, you may begin noticing more frequent thunderstorms. Severe storms accompanied by can cause a variety of electrical safety hazards, including downed power lines.

Follow these steps to stay safe

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Fleet managers and drivers should follow these steps to stay safe when a fallen power line comes in contact with a vehicle:

Stay inside your vehicle

This is one of the most important actions to keep in mind. It seems counter intuitive, but the ground around the vehicle may be energized. The rubber tires keep this electrical energy grounded, so the safest place to be is inside the vehicle.

Make noise

Honk the horn, roll down the window and call for help. While trying to gain assistance, it is imperative that you also warn people to stay away from the area around the vehicle. Anyone who touches the equipment or ground around it can be injured from the electrically charged ground.

Dial 911

Use your mobile phone to call 911 immediately. Even if it has a low battery, do not charge your phone. If your phone is dead and someone outside the vehicle is aware of the situation, ask them to call 911. Wait until the fire department, police or utility workers tell you it's safe before exiting the vehicle.

Dealing with fallen power lines can be scary and stressful, but following these guidelines can help keep you safe. For more information on how to remain safe when a power line comes into contact with your vehicle, including if a fire starts, check out this video from Work Truck.

Do you have any fallen power line tips or stories to add? Share them with us, @ElementFleet

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