Take a moment for overhead electrical safety

26 October 2018

Given October is National Safe Work Month, Essential Energy is embracing the theme of “a moment is all it takes” by reminding workers to take a moment to consider electrical safety when working near overhead powerlines.

Head of Health, Safety and Environment, Christine Withycombe, said it’s easy to take electricity for granted but contact with powerlines can result in damaged equipment, fire, serious injury or worse.

“To stay safe, always assess your worksite for electrical hazards and potential risks every step of the way; be aware of underground powerlines by obtaining dial before you dig plans and mark overhead powerlines at ground level; and always call 13 20 80 if you see something unsafe,” Christine said.

“Before beginning any work on a property, you should know the location of powerlines on the property and their proximity to your work. Provide workers with accurate, up-to-date maps or diagrams showing the location of powerlines on the property and complete a risk assessment to identify and put in place the appropriate control measures to prevent any health or safety hazards.”

“Installing visual markers can provide a visual cue for areas where electrical hazards are identified, and machine operators should carefully monitor weather for changes in conditions,” Christine added.

Closely monitor machinery measuring over 4.6 metres to ensure required minimum approach distances are maintained and ensure operators are aware of the height and reach of their machinery in both stowed and working positions.

“Use a competent safety observer to guide machinery movements near overhead powerlines; and always lower machinery to the transport position when on the move,” Christine said.

“Workers owe it to themselves, their family and workmates to ensure that safety work practices are always front of mind,” Christine added.

If equipment comes into contact with the electricity network, remain at least eight metres away, treat all powerlines as ‘live’ and call Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80. If the situation is life-threatening, call Triple-0 (000).

For more information on safety near the electricity network, visit www.essentialenergy.com.au/safety.

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