Safety for Contractors

Construction worker talking on her phone at a construction site.


Construction sites are filled with safety risks for contractors, especially when dealing with power lines, trenching and other electrical hazards. Follow our best practices to keep your team safe on site.
Two construction workers installing a cement boarder.

Before You Break Ground: Boring & Excavation Guidelines

These boring and excavation safety tips will help your crew avoid injuries from exposed cables, electrical wiring and underground utilities as you prepare your site for construction.
Construction excavator on a pile of dirt.

While You Dig: Arizona Blue Stake Laws

All builders and contractors must call 811 at least two working days prior to excavation and follow Arizona Blue Stake Laws to ensure a safe digging process.

Throughout Your Project: Overhead Power Line Safety

The rules governing safe power line distances, also known as minimum approach distances, depend on the type of work your project involves. There are two specific categories with differing regulations:

1. Work that uses non-crane equipment and non-qualified electrical workers and materials
2. Work that uses cranes and derricks

Minimum approach distances can be somewhat complex for both types of work. It’s important to review the guidelines thoroughly and contact your regulating authority with any questions or concerns. For more information email publicsafety@aps.com.

Cranes & Derricks

For operations near power lines

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OSHA Regulations

For power line safety requirements

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Specialized Safety Tips

Every construction project comes with different rules and risks. Download our specialized recommendations to stay safe when dealing with farm equipment, lift rentals, equipment transportation and sign installation.

Farm Equipment

You should take every precaution to avoid damaging overhead power lines and poles when building near livestock. Machinery used to cultivate fields should be no more than 14 feet in height in order to safely clear all power lines, and irrigation pipes should be moved horizontally near power lines to avoid accidental contact. Ladders should also be kept far from any potential electrical hazards

Lift Rental Companies

Mobile lifts, including man lifts and scissor lifts, often hit power lines during the building process. Prior to raising the device, it’s important to ensure no hazards are overhead and maintain the proper distance, as outlined in the table below.

Energized Line Voltage Approach Minimum Distance

Up to 50,000 volts  10 feet
50,000 – 69,000 volts  11 feet
69,001 – 115,000 volts  13 feet
115,001 – 161,000 volts  14 feet
161,001 – 230,000 volts  16 feet
230,001 – 345,000 volts  20 feet
345,001 – 500,000 volts  25 feet

If for some reason you can’t complete your project within these guidelines, contact the APS Public Safety Department at publicsafety@aps.com to explore alternatives. In no situation should you operate equipment at a closer distance than what the table permits.

Oversize Loads

If you are planning to transport any load that exceeds 18 feet in height on highways or 16 feet on secondary roads, you must report to APS at least five business days prior to traveling. Please email us at publicsafety@aps.com at any time to make your request.

Be ready to provide your name, phone number, proposed route (with attached map, if possible), expected date of travel and the overall height of your load. We will respond within two business days.

Sign Installation & Maintenance

Sign installation and maintenance exposes workers to many overhead and underground electrical hazards. Be sure to set signs up at a safe distance from conductors and equipment, as specified by OSHA , for work involving cranes and derricks, and as shown in the table below for non-crane work:

Up to 50,000 volts  10 feet
50,000 – 69,000 volts  11 feet
69,001 – 115,000 volts  13 feet
115,001 – 161,000 volts  14 feet
161,001 – 230,000 volts  16 feet
230,001 – 345,000 volts  20 feet
345,001 – 500,000 volts  25 feet
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