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Powerlines are part of our landscape – sometimes we don’t even notice they are there. However, accidental contact with powerlines can cause serious injury or electrocution death. With the sun in your eyes, trees in your line of vision or if you are watching something else, you may not see how close you are to powerlines.
Always remember to look up and be aware of what is above you!
Take extra care to watch for powerlines if your work or DIY involves:
- Using tall machinery, such as excavators, cranes or augers.
- Driving high vehicles.
- Raising the tipper tray of trucks.
- Raising equipment such as irrigation pipes overhead.
- Climbing on top of machinery or storage silos.
Also take care with boats – especially when launching or landing, mast can come into contact with overhead lines.
Working with trees?
- Make sure trees and foliage on your property don’t grow too close to power lines on your property. If allowed to get too close arrange for an expert to trim the trees and foliage safely for you.
- Always have the power turned off to your property when working near electric lines.
- Includes painting, roofing and cutting or trimming trees.
Trucks and powerlines are a dangerous combination. Everyone involved in the delivery of materials has a duty of care to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
Follow these safety tips to reduce risk:
- Identify all areas where powerlines cross properties.
- Identify all electrical hazards before starting work – if in any doubt contact the local electricity distribution company.
- Relocate bulk delivery storage sites to a safe area away from powerlines.
- Suppliers of bulk materials must ascertain, when taking orders, the delivery point on the farm for the load, the proximity of powerlines and what safety precautions are in place should there be powerlines in the vicinity.
- Never raise the tray of tipper trucks or use an on-board crane or jib when underneath powerlines.
- Drivers should refuse to deliver loads if their safety is compromised in any way.
- Ensure a competent safety observer is on hand when working near overhead powerlines.
- Display warning stickers on any machinery or equipment which is raised overhead.
- Monitor weather conditions closely – powerlines can sag in. extreme heat and sway in strong winds.
- Remember, powerlines are more difficult to see at dawn and dusk.
- Remember that electricity can jump gaps.