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Powerline hazards with refuse, roll-off, dump trucks etc.


Powerline contact is a hazard to be mindful of when driving a dump truck. It is critical to know best practices around loading and unloading trucks safely.

Types of electrical hazards:

  • When raising the truck box there is a risk of directly contacting an energized line which also energizes the truck and ground around the truck
  • Another possible hazard is bridging electricity to the truck box energizing the truck and surrounding ground
  • When working around energized lines there is the potential to lower the truck box onto wires of any kind which can result in pulling down the poles and lines onto the truck

Ways to avoid these hazards:

  • When arriving onto the jobsite visually locate all overhead lines
  • There are safe limits of approach for different voltage; know your limits
  • Having a designated spotter is vital when working around overhead lines
  • When possible create a designated drop zone away from all powerlines
  • Ensure the truck box is lowered before moving the vehicle

If your truck becomes energized:

  • Remain inside the vehicle
  • Call 911 and inform them of the situation
  • Inform others to stay away
  • Wait for help and do not exit the vehicle

The only exception to staying in the truck is if it is on fire. In this case it will be necessary to jump from the truck landing on both feet. Do not touch the truck and ground at the same time. Then shuffle both feet as close together as possible for at least 30 feet.



This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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