Electrical Safety

At YVEA Safety Is Important to Us

Stay Back and Stay Safe

Working with electricity can be a dangerous job, especially for lineworkers. In fact, USA Today lists power line repairers and installers among those having the most dangerous jobs in the United States That’s why for us at Yampa Valley Electric Association, safety is the number one priority. This is not empty talk. Over time, we created a culture of putting our crews’ safety and that of the community above all else.

Our mission is to provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy to you, our consumer-members. Yes, we strive to deliver affordable and reliable electricity to you, but getting our employees home safely to their loved ones at the end of the day is equally important. This requires ongoing focus, dedication, vigilance — and your help.

Distractions Can Be Deadly

While we appreciate your kindness and interest in the work of our crews, we ask that you stay back and let them focus on their task at hand. Even routine work has the potential to be dangerous, and it takes their full attention and that of their colleagues, who are also responsible for the team’s safety.

Distractions can have deadly consequences. If a lineworker is on or near your property during a power outage, for vegetation management, or for routine maintenance, please allow them ample room to work. These small accommodations help protect our crews — and you.

If you have a dog, try to keep it indoors while lineworkers are on or near your property. While most dogs are friendly, some are defensive of their territory and can’t distinguish between a burglar and a utility worker. Our crews work best without a pet “supervising” the job.

We recognize that for your family’s safety, you want to make sure only authorized workers are on or near your property. You will recognize YVEA employees by their hi-visibility shirts, emblazoned with the YVEA logo. and the service trucks with our name and logo on them. You may also recognize our lineworkers because they live right here in our local community.

Slow Down and Move Over

In addition to giving lineworkers some space while they are near your property, we also ask that you follow state law and move over and slow down when approaching a utility vehicle on the side of the road. This is an extra barrier to safety to help those who help all of us.

There may be times when traffic is limited to one lane or the road is closed completely. Please help us out by finding an alternate route or waiting for us to complete our work. A little patience goes a long way for our employees who are safely trying to complete their tasks and get off the road to get you on your way.

YVEA Repairs Broken Pole RCR 129

YVEA Repairs Broken Pole RCR 129

Zone In On Safety

Roadside close-call incidents are on the rise, a work zone crash happens every few minutes in this country. Distracted drivers are a growing concern for utility workers.

Please follow state law and move over and slow down when approaching a utility vehicle on the side of the road. This is an extra barrier to safety to help those who help all of us.

CDOT Work Zone Safety

  • Expect the Unexpected: Normal speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.
  • Slow Down: Speeding is one of the major causes of work zone crashes.
  • Don’t Tailgate: Keep a safe distance between your car and the car ahead of you. The most common crash in a highway work zone is a rear-end collision, so leave two car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
  • Be Aware of Construction Crews: Keep a safe distance between your vehicle, and the construction workers and their equipment.
  • Heed Signs: The warning signs are there to help you and other drivers move safely through the work zone. Observe the posted signs until you see the one that says you’ve left the work zone.
  • Obey Flaggers and Law Enforcement: Flaggers and law enforcement know what’s best for moving traffic safely in the work zone. A flagger has the same authority as a regulatory sign; you can be cited for disobeying his or her directions. In Colorado, the fines are doubled for most infractions in a work zone.
  • Stay Alert and Minimize Distractions: Dedicate your full attention to the roadway, and avoid changing radio stations or using cellphones while driving in a work zone.
  • Keep With the Traffic Flow: Help maintain traffic flow and posted speeds by merging as soon as possible. Don’t drive right up to the lane closure and then try to barge in.
  • Plan Your Drive: Schedule enough time to drive safely, and check radio, television, and websites for traffic information. Expect delays, and leave early so you can reach your destination on time.
  • Be Patient and Stay Calm: Work zones aren’t there to personally inconvenience you. Remember: The work zone crew members are working to improve the road and make your future drive better.

Safety Tips to Help Keep You and Your Family Safe

Power Line Safety

Accidentally contacting a power line can be dangerous and, in some cases, even deadly. YVEA wants to help our members stay safe around power lines.

kite flying childrenKeep a Safe Distance

Whether you are playing outdoors with your children or working on landscaping projects, keep a safe distance from power lines and other equipment your co-op uses to get electricity to your home.

Always remember to:

  • Stay away from power lines, meters, transformers, and electrical boxes.
  • Don’t climb trees near power lines.
  • Never fly kites, remote-controlled airplanes, or balloons near power lines.
  • If you get something stuck in a power line, call YVEA to get it.
  • Keep a safe distance from overhead power lines when working with ladders or installing objects such as antennas.
  • Never touch or go near a downed power line.
  • Don’t touch anything that may be touching a downed wire, such as a car.
  • Keep children and pets away.

Power Line Hazards and Cars

car accident power lineIf a power line falls on a car, you should stay inside the vehicle. This is the safest place to stay. Warn people not to touch the car or the line. Call or ask someone to call YVEA for emergency services.

The only circumstance in which you should consider leaving a car that is in contact with a downed power line is if the vehicle catches on fire. Open the door. Do not step out of the car.

You may receive a shock. Instead, jump free of the car so that your body clears the vehicle before touching the ground. Once you clear the car, shuffle at least 50 feet away, with both feet on the ground.

As in all power line-related emergencies, call for help immediately by dialing 911 or (970) 879-1160 or (888) 873-9832 (888-USE-YVEA).

Do not try to help someone else from the car while you are standing on the ground.

Electrical Safety and Generators

Preventing Electrocutions Associated with Portable Generators Plugged Into Household Circuits

When power lines are down, residents can restore energy to their homes or other structures by using another power source such as a portable generator. If water has been present anywhere near electrical circuits and electrical equipment, turn off the power at the main breaker or fuse on the service panel. Do not turn the power back on until the electrical equipment has been inspected by a qualified electrician.

portable generatorIf it is necessary to use a portable generator, manufacturer recommendations, and specifications must be strictly followed. If there are any questions regarding the operation or installation of the portable generator, a qualified electrician should be immediately contacted to assist in installation and start-up activities. The generator should always be positioned outside the structure.

When using gasoline- and diesel-powered portable generators to supply power to a building, switch the main breaker or fuse on the service panel to the “off” position prior to starting the generator. This will prevent power lines from being inadvertently energized by backfeeding electrical energy from the generators and help protect utility line workers other repair workers or people in neighboring buildings from possible electrocution.

If the generator is plugged into a household circuit without turning the main breaker to the “off” position or removing the main fuse, the electrical current could reverse, go back through the circuit to the outside power grid, and energize power lines or electrical systems in other buildings to at or near their original voltage without the knowledge of utility or other workers.

Effects of Backfeed

The problem of backfeeding in electrical energy is a potential risk for electrical energy workers. Electrocutions are the fifth leading cause of all reported occupational deaths. Following the safety guidelines for the Standby Generator Interconnection Safety page can reduce this risk.

Other Generator Hazards

Generator use is also a major cause of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Generators should only be used in well-ventilated areas.