Be aware of what is above you
Powerlines are part of our landscape – sometimes we don’t even notice they are there.
With the sun in your eyes, trees in your line of vision or if you are watching something else, you may not see how close you are to powerlines.
Accidental contact with powerlines can cause electrocution death or serious injury but electricity-related deaths are preventable.
Always remember to look up and live. Follow our tips and procedures below to stay safe around powerlines.
Take extra care if your work involves:
- Using tall machinery, such as cranes or augers
- Driving high vehicles
- Raising the tipper tray of trucks
- Raising farm equipment such as irrigation pipes overhead
- Climbing on top of machinery or storage silos
What to do if you or someone else hits a powerline
If you’re in a vehicle that hits or arcs a powerline, stay in the vehicle and call for help.
If you see someone hit a powerline, stay at least eight metres away and call 000.
Trucks and powerlines on farms
Trucks and powerlines are a dangerous combination. Several Victorians have been killed in accidents involving trucks hitting powerlines in rural areas.
Everyone involved in the delivery of materials has a duty of care to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
WorkSafe’s farm safety campaign: Stop, Look up and Live
Check for powerlines before any work begins
Tips for reducing the risk with overhead powerlines include:
- Stack hay and other materials well away from powerlines.
- Park oversized machinery away from powerlines.
- Rethink your loading zones on the farm – you don’t need to touch a powerline for it to arc.
- Talk with workers and contractors about how to work safely around powerlines, and what to do if they hit a powerline.
- Remember powerlines can sag in hot weather, which means there may be less distance between yourself and the powerlines than you think.
More safety tips to reduce risk around powerlines
- Identify all areas where powerlines cross properties
- Identify all electrical hazards before starting work – if in any doubt contact the local electricity distribution company
- Relocate bulk delivery storage sites to a safe area away from powerlines
- Suppliers of bulk materials must ascertain, when taking orders, the delivery point on the farm for the load, the proximity of powerlines and what safety precautions are in place should there be powerlines in the vicinity
- Never raise the tray of tipper trucks when underneath powerlines
- Drivers should refuse to deliver loads if their safety is compromised in any way
- Ensure an ESV registered spotter is on hand when working near overhead powerlines
- Display on any machinery or equipment which is raised overhead
- Monitor weather conditions closely – powerlines can sag in extreme heat and sway in strong winds
- Powerlines are more difficult to see at dawn and dusk
- Remember that electricity can jump gaps
No Go Zones
Date: 08/02/2023 7:36
The currency and accuracy of this document cannot be guaranteed once printed or saved to a storage device. If in doubt, please check the ESV website for the current version.
Reviewed 21 January 2023