Farmers warned of powerline dangers

27/12/2012

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The public, particularly those in rural communities are being reminded of the dangers of powerlines on farming properties.

Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy's Technical
Regulator, Rob Faunt says powerlines are one of the most hazardous things on a farm
and they tend to blend into our outdoor landscape.

"Everyone needs to be aware of overhead powerlines and avoid bringing yourself, your
vehicles or equipment close to them," said Mr Faunt.

"With the sun in your eyes or trees in your line of vision, it can be easy to forget how close
you are to power lines.

"It's also important to be aware that you do not have to make contact with powerlines to be
injured and electrocuted.

"In some circumstances electricity can jump gaps, which means that being too close to
powerlines is extremely hazardous.

"Electrocutions caused by vehicles coming too close to powerlines on rural properties are
a risk in South Australia and everyone involved in the use or delivery of farm material is at
risk.

"However, this risk can be reduced by storing bulk deliveries away from powerlines and by
never raising the tipper tray of trucks when underneath powerlines."

When on a farm, be aware of the dangers by:

  • monitoring weather conditions, as powerlines can sag in hot weather and sway in strong winds
  • understanding powerlines can be difficult to see at dawn and dusk
  • making sure all new machinery meets the necessary safety clearance distance from powerlines on your property
  • never working on top of farm machinery near overhead powerlines
  • keeping cords, cables and appliances in and around your farm buildings, in good condition with regular servicing and maintenance by a suitably qualified technician
  • using a safety switch - it is the best protection against electric shock.

For more information call the Office of the Technical Regulator on 8226 5518 or visit www.sa.gov.au/energysafe