Rights of Way Safety

Graphic of three keys to electrical safety

Know the dangers, and the 3 keys of electrical safety

Electricity is always trying to get to the ground by the fastest route possible. If something that conducts electricity gives that electrical current an easy path to the ground, it will take it.

Know the 3 keys of electrical safety: Look up and down; safe distance; stay back and call 911

Contact or near-contact with electrical equipment and power lines is extremely dangerous. Approaching electricity lines too closely can be fatal. The necessary distance will depend on the operating voltage of the line, construction and design of the line, topography of the location where the power line is built and the type of development proposed.

Nothing should ever be attached to BC Hydro’s works, whether temporary or permanent, unless expressly authorized in writing by BC Hydro. Site safety plans, including restricted access and designated work areas dumping, storing, etc. may need to be submitted for review and approval.

The plan will need to meet both BC Hydro and WorkSafeBC requirements.

BC Hydro works within road allowance

Many of our works are installed in road allowance. Proposed buildings should not breach safety clearance zones required around existing utilities. The Canadian Electrical Code (and local adoptions), Canadian Standards Association and WorksafeBC stipulate minimum clearances of power lines and equipment from buildings for safety and safe working clearances.

It's the responsibility of the developer and/or the electrical engineer of record to ensure compliance with all the various codes. Contact the Properties Help desk if you have questions.

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are everywhere

Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are present everywhere that electricity flows. All power wires and the devices they supply are sources of electric and magnetic fields.

On a daily basis you’re exposed to EMFs generated by household wiring, lighting and electrical appliances such as microwave ovens, hair dryers, and computer equipment. Levels of EMF in transmission and distribution lines depend on the electrical load, which is how much electricity is being used at a given time, configuration of the wiring and distance from the line.

For more information, visit bchydro.com/emf or call toll free 1 866 647 3334.