Xcel Energy Tips of the Trade
If equipment contacts overhead power lines
811 Know what's below. Call before you dig.

To reach your state’s underground utility service/one-call center,
call 811 or visit their
online site by clicking on your state’s name below

The required “business day” wait time for each state is as follows (excludes weekends and holidays):

Colorado: 3 days
Michigan: 3 days
Minnesota: 2 days
New Mexico: 2 days
North Dakota: 2 days
South Dakota: 2 days
Texas: 2 days
Wisconsin: 3 days
Wyoming: 2 days

In case of emergency,
call 9-1-1 and Xcel Energy:

• Electric Emergencies:
• Natural Gas
• Colorado only:
  Gas Transmission
  Pipeline Emergencies:



What happens when...?

You’ve followed all mandatory safety guidelines, but despite your best efforts, your equipment still contacts an overhead power line. What do you do now?

  • Immediately try to move the equipment clear, but only if you can do so safely.
  • Tell others to stay away and not to approach or touch the equipment.
  • Have someone immediately call 911 and Xcel Energy.
  • Stay on the equipment until utility workers say it is safe to
    get off.
  White Marked Excavation Site

Leaving your equipment

If you must leave your equipment due to fire or other danger:

  • Jump as far away as possible so you don’t touch the equipment and the ground at the same time.
  • Land with your feet together.
  • Shuffle away with your feet close together and on the ground, or hop away on two feet, keeping both feet together.

Once you’re clear of your equipment, don’t return for any reason until you are advised by electric utility workers that the area is safe.

Would you like to know more?

Additional overhead and digging guidelines, emergency procedures, case studies, instructional videos, and training tools can all be found at no charge to you on Xcel Energy’s e-SMARTworkers website.

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For more information on contractor safety, visit