Are you prepared for the worst?

Setting up Powerlines

Power lines are vital for supporting our modern life. But they also are one of the most hazardous things on rural properties – just one moment of carelessness around them could have tragic consequences for you, workers on your property or even your family.

A range of power lines cross South Australian farms and all of them are potentially deadly if contacted or if you get too close.

“Contacting wires or even getting too close to them could be fatal,” said Paul Roberts, Corporate Affairs Manager for SA Power Networks.

“People would be surprised how often we respond to outages that have been caused by activity on farms,” he said. “It is fortunate, and a matter of luck, that we have not had any recent deaths in South Australia. We have, however, had some serious injuries and several very lucky escapes.

“Incidents occur in all types of situations from people operating tip trucks, augers, headers, excavators, elevating work platforms, scissor lifts and spray booms, to assembling of irrigation pipes and even scaffolding,” Mr Roberts said. “A new issue that has emerged in recent years is the use of GPS for guiding ever-larger farm machinery.”

Mr Roberts said while SA Power Networks has been advising farmers of the potential risks of power lines, it was important for everyone on the farm to know what to do should there be an emergency situation.

What to do if you contact a powerline

When an object or vehicle comes into contact with power lines there is a high risk of electric shock. If this happens, you should immediately contact SA Power Networks on 13 13 66 and (preferably) do not move until the power is switched off.

If a vehicle strikes a power line it is best to stay inside the vehicle until help can arrive. If you remain in your vehicle, others in the vicinity should keep well clear of you or the vehicle until SA Power Networks staff have made the
line safe.

If it is necessary for everyone to evacuate the vehicle to prevent injury, several steps must be followed to maximise your safety, including:

  • Jump out and clear of the vehicle, ensuring you do not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • Calmly walk away using small steps.
  • Call SA Power Networks immediately on 13 13 66.
  • Do not return to the vehicle until after the area has been made safe.
  • Keep other people well clear.

In a power emergency call 13 13 66. For an ambulance or police assistance, call 000.

Article kindly provided by SA Power Networks.

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