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Date PostedOctober 27, 2013

Contact with Power lines disrupts electricity Supply

Heavy vehicle drivers and heavy machinery operators, operating construction vehicles and machinery should be aware of a warning issued to them recently by Energy companies. The warning was related to an accident during which a truck connected with the overhead power lines.

Essential Energy has since warned heavy vehicle drivers that they need to be aware of overhead power lines and avoid contact with them because not only is this a threat to the drivers but also a huge inconvenience, cost and danger to other members of the public. Therefore drivers, operators and all construction workers should be aware of power lines location and avoid machinery and extending equipment making contact with these overhead power lines.

Read what prompted the warning according to a post on Centralwesterdaily.com.au

PlugHEAVY vehicle drivers are being warned to watch out for overhead power lines following an accident on the corner of Hill Street and Matthews Avenue on Wednesday morning.

The incident occurred just before 6am after a truck connected with the low voltage network, bringing down service lines to around 80 homes.

Essential Energy’s safety protection equipment operated immediately, switching off power to the affected area.

Essential Energy regional manager Phillip Green said crews worked quickly to make the area safe before repairing the network.

“There are around 80 customer in parts of Casey Street, Hill Street, Benview Avenue and Sale Street who are affected by a supply interruption while our crews make the necessary repairs,” Mr Green said.

“Additional crews were dispatched to help carry out the repairs through the morning.”

“This incident serves as an important reminder to all truck drivers, heavy vehicle operators and construction workers to be mindful of overhead power lines and ensure all machinery and extending equipment is kept well clear.”

Source: http://www.centralwesterndaily.com.au/story/1768917/truck-pulls-the-plug-on-power/?cs=103

It is important that operators, drivers and construction workers are trained to not operate equipment, machinery and vehicles around overhead power lines unless you are authorized and trained to do so.

If an object such as scaffolds, cranes, etc. must be moved in the area of overhead power lines, appoint a competent worker whose sole responsibility is to observe the clearance between the power lines and the object. These people will be able to warn others if the minimum distance is not maintained. All workers involved should be trained, certified and supervised appropriately.

Even on the most cautious sites, sometimes accidents still occur. If contact is made with an overhead power line, never touch an overhead line if it has been brought down by machinery or has fallen. One of the biggest mistakes people make when power lines are down is that they are no longer live, never assume lines are dead.

When a machine is in contact with an overhead line, do not allow anyone to come near or touch the machine. Stay away from the machine and summon outside assistance. Also, never touch a person who is in contact with a live power line.

For operators or drivers who are in the vehicle or cab of the machinery that is in contact with an overhead power line, do not attempt to leave the vehicle or cab. As long as you stay inside and avoid touching metal on the vehicle, you may avoid an electrical hazard. If you need to get out to seek help or to escape a fire,jump out without touching any wires or the machine. Keep your feet together while doing so and jump to safety.


Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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