Hydro Ottawa crews work around the clock, year-round, and in many neighbourhoods across our city, to safely restore power or perform critical work on our infrastructure. Sometimes crew members are easy to spot, other times they are up on a hydro pole, concealed by trees and branches, or down working on underground cables. Depending on the circumstances, they may be required to work in bad weather or challenging conditions. The work they are performing may be part of a major project or it may be emergency related. No matter the case, safety - for crews and the public - is always a top priority.
Inevitably, there will come a time when you encounter our crews performing work as you commute around the city. When this happens, we understand that it can be an unwelcome disruption to your routine (our apologies in advance for the inconvenience). On the other hand, as many of us continue to spend more time at home, the work may actually serve as an exciting event to an otherwise ordinary day (as my young nephews can joyously attest). Whether the work you see happening stirs up serious questions or general curiosity, please avoid directing your inquiries to the crew members on the job.
In most cases, the electrical work that crews are performing is extremely dangerous, requiring great care and concentration. Even minor distractions can have consequences, including delayed power restoration or worse, injuries or fatalities. Our crews take the safety of their work very seriously and undergo regular training to identify, manage and avoid hazards - this includes everything they can do to maintain your safety and wellbeing. That said, they can’t do this without you, so whether you’re strolling, cycling, or cruising by a job site, please keep safety in mind by abiding by the following:
Now that it’s spring, you may be spending a lot more time outside. Spring also means that our crews are out in our community performing work and getting started on some of our major projects. Should you encounter a work zone during a walk or run, here’s what you need to know:
- Do not approach our crews to ask questions or offer help. Interruptions can serve as distractions to our staff, increasing the risk of errors, injuries, or delays.
- Where work zones encroach on sidewalks or paths, look for signage to help direct you through an alternate, safer route.
- Do not lean or climb on any equipment or safety barriers.
- Avoid distractions, like using your phone or listening to music, while walking past work zones.
Whether you’re commuting or simply going for a leisurely bike ride, here are some important reminders to cyclists:
- Slow down upon approaching work zones.
- Follow temporary safety and detour signage.
- Respect cones and barriers. We do whatever we can to avoid encroaching on bicycle lanes, so when we do need to put up barriers, please remember that they are there to protect you from danger.
Unfortunately, we don’t mean the ‘set sail to the Bahamas’ kind of cruising (we know, we’re crying too). As you drive around the city, here are some road safety tips to be conscious of:
- Slow down upon approaching work zones.
- Stay focused on the road. Distracted driving is a no-no to begin with, but preventing a collision with dangerous electrical equipment is yet another reason to add the list for why staying focused is imperative.
- Share the road. Whenever possible, please provide a cushion of space when driving past crews working alongside the road.
- Respect cones and barriers. These have been placed for your safety.
- Read and respect all safety signage, even if workers are not present.
- If you have kids with you, keep them close and inform them of potential hazards.
- If you see something that may pose as a hazard to our working crews? Report it to: (613) 738 6400.
Amidst this bustling city, brimming with distraction, let’s work together to stay safe by paying attention to our surroundings, respecting safety warnings and signage, slowing down, and maintaining safe distancing, so we can all go home safe at the end of the day.