FREE CONSULTATION (314) 361-4300

Dangers of Working Near a Downed Powerline

Downed power lines pose risks of electric shock, arcing, and fires. Stay away, use PPE, and seek legal help if injured. Avoid contact and stay vigilant.


Fallen trees, car accidents, vandalism, and lightning can all down power lines. Downed power lines carry high-voltage electricity. The only difference with regular power lines is that downed power lines are on the ground and within reach. This makes them extremely dangerous, especially for busy and highly populated areas.

If you ever find yourself working near a downed powerline, here are three dangers you should be aware of. 

Electrical Shock

The most obvious danger of working near a downed powerline is the risk of electric shock. As mentioned, downed power lines still carry live current. The voltage of these powerlines is is more than enough to kill you. Coming into contact with these power lines could prove fatal, or you could suffer from electrocution and thermal burns.

Always stay vigilant around these powerlines to avoid getting electrocuted. You should always remember to wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when working near these hazardous sites. Be keen on wearing rubber boots, gloves, and other essential PPE when working near powerlines.


In electricity, arcing occurs when electricity jumps from one connection to another. The downed power line might hit the ground and connect with another object, releasing tremendous amounts of energy, causing fires or even explosions. Working near a downed powerline could bring you one-on-one with the fiery byproducts of arcing.

Wearing PPE will only do so much to protect you against heat. Your best bet, in this case, is to avoid working near the downed line. Alternatively, you could wait for electricians to address the issue before getting back to work.


The sparks from a downed line can fall on dry vegetation or flammable materials and cause fire. The risk of electrical fires is heavy with downed power lines. The fires can occur due to arcing or electrical sparks igniting flammable objects on the ground.

Electrical fires are hard to tackle because pouring water on an electrical fire only worsens it. The water conducts electricity, putting you at risk of electrocution and the place at risk of catching a huge fire.

Electrical Injury at Work? Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Working near power lines puts you at risk of electrocution and a host of other injuries. If you are injured, you may be compensated by filing a workers’ comp claim. Filing this claim will get you a settlement to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial needs relating to the injury.
If you’ve been injured on the job, call a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney 24/7 to learn more about your legal rights and ensure they are protected from the start of your workers’ compensation claim.

Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney

Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation

Call (314) 361-4300
Updated: October 30, 2023