working near Power Lines
Don't compromise your Legal obligations and Workers' Safety.
Construction & Maintenance Industry workers or anyone using Elevated Work Platform Equipment and working in the vicinity of Power Lines in Victoria must adopt Best Practice Guidelines overseen Energy Safe Victoria & enforced by Worksafe.
If you or your staff are working near power lines, it is not worth the risk to take short-cuts. Trying to get a job done quickly can turn into tragedy - and the consequences may be much worse than just a monetary fine.
Why do we need a Safety Spotter?
What is the role of a Spotter?
Power lines have become so much a part of our outdoor landscape that it is easy to forget that they are there. When there's sun in you eyes, trees in your line of vision or the need to be watching something else, you cannot see exactly how close you come to powerlines.
Tragically, there have been too many electricity-related deaths and countless accidents that could have been prevented had more care been taken around power lines on work sites.
The Spotter's sole purpose is to watch over the Worker(s) and their machinery & tools to make sure that they don't get too close.
The term Spotter is defined by Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) as a Safety Observer who is a person competent for the sole task of observing and warning against unsafe approach to overhead power lines and other electrical apparatus.
What can go wrong?
Split second lapse of concentration - lifetime consequences
2006 News Release Titled: WARNING THAT ELECTRICITY CAN JUMP GAPS AND KILL
An alarming incident at Norlane, near Geelong, resulted in another timely warning from the OCEI about the importance of "Look Up And Live".
In the incident, a 26 year old man received third degree burns to his face, neck, chest and arms while working on an elevated platform near overhead power lines.
The OCEI issued a media release warning that electricity can jump gaps - and the consequences can be tragic. Chief Electrical Inspector Ken Gardner, said in the release: "It is important for people to realise that electricity can jump across gaps - and sometimes can kill.
"While everyone needs to Look Up And Live whether working or enjoying recreational pursuits near power lines, it is obvious that operators of elevated platforms and other large equipment need to take particular care when maneuvering such plant.
"Unfortunately it seems that some operators are not aware of the No Go Zone Rules which must be followed when large items of plant or equipment are operated near power lines," he said.
Mr Gardner issued the following advice to people working near power lines:
- Study the 'No Go Zone' Rules to find out what can and what cannot be done.
- Complete a detailed risk assessment prior to starting work.
- Stay well clear of powerlines.
- Post a safety observer or spotter.
- Contact the local electricity distribution company for advice, and...
- Always "Look Up And Live".
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