When it comes to the potential dangers of working around powerlines and other electricity network infrastructure, there are some key safety tips to keep in mind to help keep you and your workers safe this harvest.
Plan for a safe harvest:
- Know the location of powerlines on your property. Use our Look Up and Live app to identify where the powerlines are located on your property. Visit essentialenergy.com.au/lookupandlive
- Install aerial markers - Essential Energy can install overhead powerline markers on your property to help increase the visibility of powerlines. Visit essentialenergy.com.au/aerialmarkerprogram to request aerial markers on your property. You can also use ground barriers or install appropriate signage at least 8 to 10 metres either side of powerlines
- Be aware that weather conditions can affect the network including causing powerlines to sag in hot weather or sway in high winds
- Know the height of farm machinery in raised and lowered positions and always fully lower machinery before moving off
- When operating high loads, always maintain the required clearance distances and be sure to understand your obligations for requesting a High Load Permit if your load exceeds 4.6m. Read more about transporting high loads
- Make sure your workers are inducted onto your site and know the location of powerlines. Consider ordering our free safety stickers and training videos to help keep safe this harvest
Stay Clear When Powerlines Are Near
Ensure required minimum approach distances are maintained at all times. It’s a good idea to assign a competent safety observer to each work team to guide machinery movements when working in the vicinity of powerlines.
Always stay at least 8 metres away from fallen powerlines and anything they may be in contact with and report the fault immediately. Remember, damaged or fallen powerlines can be hard to spot. Indicators of potential network damage may include:
- Flickering or no power supply
- Burnt areas in paddocks or roadsides
- Injured or downed stock
- Smoke or fallen trees.
Contact Essential Energy on 132080 to report the issue.
Hazard reduction burns
When planning and completing hazard reduction burns here are some handy tips to help burn safely:
- Obtain the appropriate permits prior to burning
- Notify Essential Energy of burn activities planned near the network
- Establish an exclusion zone of at least eight metres around the base of poles, clearing vegetation prior to burning
- Conduct burning on low fire danger days
- Stay alert to changing weather conditions
- Ensure you have sufficient water and firefighting equipment is at hand in case a burn gets out of control
- Check for network damage after burns. In particular, be alert to signs of smoke or ash near power poles, as they can smoulder for hours before catching alight.
If an electrical asset is damaged by a burn activity, contact us immediately on 132080 to isolate the power supply, and remain at least eight metres away from fallen powerlines.
What to do if your vehicle comes into contact with the network
Follow our emergency escape procedure:
- Stay in your vehicle and call 000 immediately
- If escape is absolutely necessary (because of fire), jump well clear to avoid contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time
- When you jump, land with your feet together. Do not touch the vehicle, fall or allow your feet to step apart
- You must shuffle or jump, with your feet together until you are at least 8 metres clear of the vehicle, powerlines or anything else in contact with them
- Once clear, do not return to the vehicle for any reason.
- Call Essential Energy on 132080
- Remember to never approach a vehicle to assist in an evacuation and always treat powerlines as if they are ‘live’.
Seasonal worker safety
Keeping your workers safe this harvest starts before you even set foot in the field. Whether you're bringing in new workers, returned workers or seasoned professionals make sure they understand the importance of electricity safety. Check out our new 5-minute checklist to help you stay safe this harvest.
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Look Up And Live app
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High loads request form
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