Crew and Customer Safety: What You Need to Know

City Light crews are continuously working to improve the electrical system and the communities we serve. From maintaining our infrastructure to upgrading equipment and exploring new energy technology solutions, our crews work to deliver safe, clean, and reliable power to customers. Learn more about what our workers do and ways that you can stay safe around our construction worksites and equipment.

CONSTRUCTION SAFETY

City Light crews maintain our equipment and add new services, which can sometimes be disruptive. Here’s a look at what utility construction work entails:

  • Crews assess the location of their work, sometimes on private property. Crew safety requires that power is off at the worksite. This includes any damaged equipment that could be considered live and dangerous. City Light workers have to wait on the scene until receiving word from our Operations Center that it is safe to begin.
  • Employees may not know the extent of the work until the job is underway. Crews often need equipment such as new utility poles and transformers, all of which take time to assess, request and arrive.
  • Crews mark worksites with signs, traffic cones, boundary tape and other devices, especially next to open vaults. These boundaries are set to protect customers from energized electrical equipment. 

Customer Tip: Customers should adhere to appropriate social distancing from worksites and employees. If you need to approach an employee out in the field, please wait until the crew member comes to you. If you want to verify that the crew member on your property works for Seattle City Light, ask for utility identification. If they refuse to show their badge, please call 911.

RIGHT-OF-WAY SAFETY

Planting strips are part of the City of Seattle’s right-of-way and are managed and regulated by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). A planting strip is an unpaved area between the sidewalk and street, usually for approved trees and vegetation. City Light is authorized and permitted to use the City’s right-of-way to work on its transmission and distribution lines and facilities.

Below are some tips to know about City Light’s equipment on the right-of-way:

  • Before starting any digging project, call 811 or (800) 424-5555 to locate underground electrical lines and other utilities.
  • Stay far away from power lines and anything touching power lines. Please do not use flying objects like kites or drones near power lines. 
  • Never try to remove items from a power line, such as tree limbs or kites, and never touch them with anything you’re holding, like a rake or ladder.
  • If you have questions about overgrown vegetation near an overhead power line, contact City Light’s Vegetation Management group at (206) 386-1733 or SCL_Vegetation@seattle.gov.