Ergon Energy in collaboration with Energex have launched a Queensland-wide electrical safety campaign to address the high number of dangerous incidents involving contacts with overhead, fallen and underground power-lines.
The campaign called ‘Take Care, Stay Line Aware’ is aimed at reinforcing the risks to people in Queensland and according to Executive General Manager Distribution Paul Jordon it highlights that we encounter lines of all types daily, whether it be standing in line at checkouts or crossing railway lines however we commonly overlook power-lines. Due to the fact that we are familiar with them, we become complacent around them and this can be deadly, as Mr Jordon points out.
“Whether you’re doing home maintenance, clearing gutters or pruning trees before storm season, driving a vehicle or operating machinery, it is important to understand the risks and stay well clear of powerlines.”
He went on to explain that the aim of the campaign was to return the attention of the public to power-lines and other electrical infrastructure. He said almost daily vehicles came into contact with electricity and the consequences can be serious.
“We look after a massive network of more than 220,000km of powerlines and 1.7 million poles, but it’s such a familiar part of the landscape that people stop paying attention,” Mr. Jordon said.
“Every day, we have vehicles coming into contact with our electricity network and the consequences could be fatal.”
He also explained that the messages of the campaign includes staying inside a vehicle if power-lines come down on the vehicle. Wait inside the vehicle until emergency services arrive.
“It’s also essential that bystanders ignore their natural instinct to come to the assistance of the vehicle occupants and instead they should maintain a safe distance of at least 10 metres,” he said.
“A less obvious but all too common electrical hazard is caused by vehicles running over green pillar boxes and exposing underground wires, which people should also stay well clear of.
“A risk closer to home is the service line that connects individual properties with the poles and wires. Anyone working on the roof, trimming tall trees or driving a high vehicle in the vicinity of that live wire needs to take care and stay line aware.
“Fallen powerlines can occur during storm season, but the danger can be hidden by tree branches and other debris. People should always assume fallen powerlines are live, stay well clear of the hazard, warn others and report them to Triple Zero (000) or Ergon on 13 16 70.
He concluded by highlighting the importance of raising awareness about the range of risks and how simple the message to customers and the community is – “Take Care, Stay Line Aware”.