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National Electrical Safety Code

Building Safety into your Plans

What is the NESC?

The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC®) is the industry-accepted safety standard for overhead and underground electric utility and communications utility installations. Adopted by most states and Public Service Commissions, the NESC covers electric supply and communication lines, equipment, and work practices employed by both public and private electric utility installations.

The NESC requires specific distances between utility facilities and other structures, such as houses and pools. These distances vary based on the type of utility and the type of structure being built. It is your responsibility to know and abide by these distances.

If overhead power lines are present on the jobsite, STOP and immediately contact BGE at 1-800-685-0123 in the planning stage of your project for assistance in meeting the NESC guidelines. BGE will evaluate the site and determine the best course of action.

Why is it important to follow the NESC?

Overhead power lines carry a lot of electricity and must be treated with respect whenever people are working around them. Physical contact with power lines can cause serious harm, including severe burns and death.

How can I be sure that I am in compliance with the NESC?

If overhead power lines are present on the jobsite, STOP and immediately contact BGE at 1-800-685-0123 for assistance in meeting the NESC guidelines. BGE will evaluate your jobsite and determine the best course of action.

What other rules apply?

In addition to the NESC, you should also be familiar with the Maryland High Voltage Line Act (HVLA), which was enacted to help prevent electrical injuries. If overhead utility lines are present and you will be working within 10 ft of those lines (this includes people or equipment), HVLA states that you MUST contact BGE prior to the start of any work. BGE will evaluate the best course of action. Likewise, if you are using a crane or derrick, OSHA requires that you maintain a 20 ft clearance between any part of the equipment or its load and energized power lines. For assistance, contact BGE at 1-877-427-2008 prior to starting work. 

NO WORK CAN BE STARTED UNTIL PROPER SAFETY MEASURES ARE TAKEN - IT'S THE LAW.

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