When getting ready to construct a new business, home development or facility expansion, be aware that builders and contractors will likely encounter utility equipment on the worksite. These items include transformers, junction boxes, pad-mounted equipment and pedestals.
Building contractors can prevent damage to TEP’s equipment, reduce construction delays and keep their crews and residents safe from potential electrical hazards by following these Do’s and Don’ts:
- Call 811 at least two days before crews begin digging or excavating. “This free line locating service ensures all nearby utility lines will be clearly marked so that work crews avoid damaging underground lines,” said Amanda Whitney, New Business Residential Project Manager for Tucson Electric Power. “It’s fast and easy to request line locating – and it’s the law.”
- Always assume TEP equipment is energized and poses a potential safety hazard. If TEP equipment is struck or damaged, keep workers and residents away from the area and immediately call the TEP Emergency Hotline at 520-623-3451.
- Carefully plan the placement of trees and shrubs. Landscaping planted too close to our facilities may interfere with our equipment and overhead lines when they’re fully matured. Equipment sides with doors require a 10-ft. working clearance and a 3-ft. clearance on non-door sides of equipment.
- Don’t dig until you know what utility lines are below. “So many accidents are preventable by calling 811 first so that crews can avoid areas with underground lines,” said Whitney. Plan at least two days ahead of your building schedule to allow time for the lines to be marked.
- Don’t cover TEP’s equipment with soil, debris or construction materials. Our equipment should be visible and accessible at all times. These materials can corrode equipment, cause failures, impede our crews’ access, and increase the risk that hidden equipment will be struck and damaged.
- Don’t lose sight of TEP facilities when operating heavy equipment or vehicles. Be aware of the location of TEP equipment at all times to avoid accidental damage and costly repairs. “Having situational awareness at a construction site enables everyone to identify hazards and prevents accidents. By following these guidelines, we can work safer together,” Whitney noted.
- Don’t change the pad grade after TEP equipment is installed. Changing the grade may negatively affect the positioning of our installed equipment. If the grade is altered, contractors or builders may accrue additional costs for corrections.
Building contractors who have questions can refer to our Electrical Service Requirements or contact Whitney at (520) 526-4350.