TasNetworks - Powerline Safety

03 Feb 2017

Look Up Look Out!

After a recent spate of plant and vehicle contacts with overhead powerlines, TasNetworks is issuing this alert in the interest of community safety.

Often these contacts were the result of unauthorised entry to powerline “No Go Zones”, endangering the lives of machinery operators, members of the general public and causing inconvenience to the community through unnecessary power interruptions.

Powerlines are part of our landscape and it’s easy to forget they are there. But coming into contact with powerlines can result in injury or even death. That’s why if you are working, driving or doing anything in the vicinity of powerlines it is essential that you look up, look out.

Contact emergency services or TasNetworks immediately if your vehicle or plant equipment comes into contact with overhead powerlines. Remain in the vehicle and ensure those in the vicinity remain at least eight metres from the lines and anything they are in contact with.

Health, Safety and Environment Leader Adrian Daniels says, “the message is clear – look up, look out, and employers need ensure their people are aware of the risks when working near powerlines.”

Of course the best way to avoid contact with powerlines is to not work around them. However, when this is not possible, employers and must make sure all workers and contractors are alert to surrounding powerlines and understand the importance of the “No Go Zone” as part of their induction to the site. Use of safety observers or spotters will assist to avoid vehicle and plant equipment crossing into the “No Go Zone”.

No one may work within the 3 metre “No Go Zone” of powerlines unless they have advised TasNetworks and received authorisation for the work.

TasNetworks encourage members of the local community to report any at risk action and behaviours carried out in proximity to powerlines.

Some important safety tips:

  • Check the location of all overhead powerlines before you start work. Dial before you dig on 1100 to identify any underground infrastructure.
  • Know the exact height of your vehicle / equipment and load – especially when your tray or excavator is fully raised or extended
  • Always use an observer to monitor your clearances
  • Never allow anyone to ride on a high load when travelling underneath powerlines
  • Metal irrigation pipes being moved near powerlines should be kept below head level to avoid any possible contact with overhead powerlines
  • Jets of water from travelling irrigators should be kept clear of overhead powerlines as they may cause the conductors to touch and could result in a loss of power supply, system disturbances or even a fire.

In any life threatening emergency contact 000 or for further information and or reporting faults involving electricity infrastructure, call TasNetworks on 132 004.

For more information contact TasNetworks media line on 6271 6271

TasNetworks - Powerline Safety image