Need to watch out for Overhead Power Lines

An issue that is particularly relevant to construction vehicle operators is the warning being issued to heavy vehicle drivers to watch out for overhead power lines following an accident last week in NSW.

An incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday morning which resulted in almost 80 homes being left without power. A truck made contact with a low voltage network resulting in Essential Energy switching off power to the affected are as a precautionary measure.

Read what happened according to an article on Centralwesterndaily.com.au

HEAVY 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.”

 

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

Truck drivers, heavy vehicle operators and construction workers need to constantly being mindful of overhead power lines and also ensure that all machinery especially extending equipment is kept clear.

When working with power lines overhead, authorities suggest you treat all electric power lines as live and either have them de-energised or create an exclusion zone around them and keep workers out. De-energising power lines should only be done once arrangements have been made with electricity authorities during the planning stages.

Proper planning is vital in ensuring workers aren’t exposed to the risks associated with over-head power lines because a number of vehicles and machinery on construction sites can place workers and operators at risk. Loaders and other lifting equipment canextend far enough to make contact withoverhead lines. Take extra care when usingany of the following equipment:

  • Front loaders
  • Lorry-mounted cranes/loaders
  • Excavators
  • Tipping trailers and bale trailers
  • Tipper trucks

Some of the control measures that can be implemented include:

  • Planning all access routes to the place where youare working to avoid overhead lines.
  • If high machines frequently work nearoverhead lines, consult the electricity provider about measures to avoid contact such as de-energising lines during construction or raising lines etc.
  • Be aware of the full height of equipment andmachinery when all parts are raised totheir full extent. Check these heightsagainst the line safe clearances marked on the site map so that you know where theparticular areas of risk are located.
  • Educate workers about the potential dangersand safe working practices. For example,to avoid making contact with an overhead line.