Safety for contractors

At construction sites, many serious injuries and deaths occur due to contact with overhead or underground electrical power lines by both workers and equipment.

Most power line accidents can be prevented by following proper safety standards. To stay safe:

  • Familiarize yourself with Arizona's overhead power line and digging/excavating laws.
  • Know minimum clearance distance requirements as required by OSHA .
  • At least two working days before you dig, call 811 (formerly Arizona Blue Stake) or create an online ticket .
  • Plan ahead and know what to do if someone comes in contact with a live electrical wire.
  • Always assume lines are energized and could result in electrical shock. Insulation on power lines is often there to protect the lines, not people.
  • When in doubt, call SRP at (602) 236-8117 or email


SRP is here to assist you in creating a safety plan. Schedule a planning meeting with an SRP Safety Specialist by calling (602) 236-8117 or emailing

Our Safety Specialists can provide guidance regarding OSHA regulations, SRP requirements, the voltage of power lines and OSHA required minimum clearances, and we can also assist with de-energizing the line if necessary.

To prevent encroachment/electrocution, do not operate any equipment closer than the minimum clearance distance requirements identified in OSHA Subpart CC — Cranes and Derricks in Construction; 1926.1408 .

Before operating a crane, take the time to:

  1. Identify the work area.
  2. Determine if any part of the equipment, load line or load, if operated up to the equipment’s maximum working radius, COULD get closer than 20 feet from the power line (if the line is less than 350,000 volts) or 50 feet from the power line (if the line is more than 350,000 volts).
  3. If any part of the equipment, load line or load, if operated up to the equipment’s maximum working radius, COULD get closer to the power line than 20 feet or 50 feet, as applicable, then you must contact SRP at (602) 236-8117 or

Additional information is available in Altec's crane operation around power lines flowchart Document is a PDF .

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Vehicles and heavy equipment

When operating equipment other than cranes, derricks and hoisting equipment, observe clearances noted in the table below. If you do not know the voltage of the power line, call SRP at (602) 236-8117.

To learn more about operating vehicles and heavy equipment near power lines, refer to OSHA Subpart O — Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment; 1926.600 .

Specified clearances for vehicles and heavy equipment for phase-to-phase rated lines:

Line Voltage Minimum clearance in feet
69,000 V and below 10’
115,000 V 11’
230,000 V 13’
500,000 V 18’

These distances equate to a phase-to-ground exposure for these voltage categories.

Working near power facilities

When working near overhead and underground power facilities, following safety standards, maintaining required clearances and obtaining approvals from all affected stakeholders prior to construction are necessary to meet project timelines and ensure safe job sites. To begin the compatibility review process, submit electronic plans to SRP.

Transmission Line Asset Management

Transmission Line Asset Management (TLAM) reviews proposed construction activities for compatibility with SRP transmission facilities. TLAM is also responsible for inspections and line maintenance engineering for all SRP transmission assets. Any improvements or activities near SRP facilities require written approval prior to starting your project.

What needs to be reviewed?

  • Any improvements or construction activities within SRP’s ROW
  • Electrical clearances
  • Tree and ground cover compatibility
  • Stormwater drainage and retention basins
  • 69 kV and extra-high-voltage setup areas
  • Excavations near transmission structures
  • Blasting*
  • Gates, fencing and grounding
  • Acceptable line maintenance access
  • Damage to SRP facilities or access
  • Outrigger load/point load requirements*
  • Heavy haul routing
  • GIS, mapping and data requests

*Requires review by SRP Civil Engineering Services

SRP must have 24/7 high and dry access to ROWs and all SRP facilities. Every location and activity is unique and must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

General Design Guidelines and related documents can be obtained by calling (602) 236-3080 or emailing

SRP Land Department

When preparing for construction within SRP’s power service territory, visit the SRP Land Department’s webpage to obtain information about:

  • SRP easements
  • Easement encroaching requests
  • Leasing and licensing SRP property
  • Initial plan review process
  • Map requests
  • Will-serve letters
  • SRP technical provisions

Plans submitted to SRP through the Initial Plan Review Process will be reviewed for compatibility with existing SRP facilities and operations and a job will be initiated for projects requiring new power service. For more information about SRP Land Department services, call (602) 236-3117 or email

Customers seeking general information about what can be constructed, altered, planted or stored within an SRP easement or near an SRP power or water facility should submit an information request.

SRP vegetation management

SRP trims trees to prevent unsafe conditions and to maintain reliable electric service. Trees growing too close to overhead power lines can create fire and safety hazards and cause power outages.

Overhead lines

Trees planted within 25 feet of a power line should not exceed 20 feet in height at maturity. Trees taller than 20 feet at mature height should be planted 40 feet away (or greater) from overhead power lines.

You should never attempt to trim trees near power lines or hire a tree trimming contractor to work within 10 feet of energized power lines. If you have concerns about trees growing near overhead power lines, please call SRP at (602) 236-8888 to arrange for a tree inspection.

Underground lines

If you have underground service, you may have a pad-mounted transformer on or near your property. Trees and shrubs should not be planted within 3 feet of the sides and rear or within 12 feet of the front of the underground equipment. Remember, somewhere on your property there is a power line that runs from the transformer to the house/building.

Before you dig, call Arizona 811. They will mark the locations of the underground service lines in the area where you plan to dig and can help you avoid planting on top of an underground power line where tree roots may interfere. There is no charge for this service. For more information, please refer to the vegetation management page.

Safety training

As part of our commitment to safety, we offer the following free resources and training to promote safety for those working around overhead and underground power lines.

  • Annual free safety workshop – To help you work safely, SRP hosts a free Overhead and Underground Electrical Safety Workshop every February.
  • Electrical power line safety presentation – To help contractors reduce the risk of electricity-related accidents, SRP Safety Specialists offer a free one-hour electrical safety awareness program that focuses on working near underground or overhead electrical transmission and distribution systems. The program features an energized power line model to demonstrate the effects of electrical contact and how to avoid it.

    This presentation also covers requirements of the Arizona Overhead Power Line Safety Law (ARS 40-360.41), the Arizona Underground Utility Law (ARS 40-360.28) and the Arizona Excavation Law.

    To request a presentation, call (602) 236-8117 or email

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Additional resources



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