A state-wide electrical safety campaign starting this weekend aims to reduce the number of dangerous incidents involving contacts with overhead, underground and fallen powerlines.
A state-wide electrical safety campaign starting this weekend aims to reduce the number of dangerous incidents involving contacts with overhead, underground and fallen powerlines. SHIRLEY SINCLAIR

Energy companies spark safe powerline discussions

A STATE-wide electrical safety campaign starting this weekend aims to reduce the number of dangerous incidents involving contacts with overhead, underground and fallen powerlines.

Executive General Manager Distribution Paul Jordon said Ergon and Energex's joint Take Care, Stay Line Aware campaign would reinforce the risks to Queenslanders.

Mr Jordon said the new campaign was designed to return public attention to powerlines and other electricity infrastructure.

"What this campaign highlights is that we deal with lines of all sorts on a daily basis - we line up at checkouts, we play inside the lines on sporting fields, we learn our lines for presentations, we cross railway lines, the list goes on and on,” Mr Jordon said.

"Any contact with a live powerline has the potential to cause death or severe injury.

"Yet we can overlook the lines we most need to be aware of - powerlines - because we are so familiar with them that we become complacent around them.

"Whether you're doing home maintenance, clearing gutters or pruning trees before storm season, driving a vehicle or operating machinery, it is important to understand the risks and stay well clear of powerlines.

"We look after a massive network of more than 220,000km of powerlines and 1.7 million poles, but it's such a familiar part of the landscape that people stop paying attention.

"Every day, we have vehicles coming into contact with our electricity network and the consequences could be fatal.”

Mr Jordon said the messages to be promoted through the campaign included that if powerlines had come down on a vehicle, staying inside the vehicle until emergency services arrived was the safest.

"It's also essential that bystanders ignore their natural instinct to come to the assistance of the vehicle occupants and instead they should maintain a safe distance of at least 10 metres,” he said.

"A less obvious but all too common electrical hazard is caused by vehicles running over green pillar boxes and exposing underground wires, which people should also stay well clear of.

"A risk closer to home is the service line that connects individual properties with the poles and wires. Anyone working on the roof, trimming tall trees or driving a high vehicle in the vicinity of that live wire needs to take care and stay line aware.

"Fallen powerlines can occur during storm season, but the danger can be hidden by tree branches and other debris. People should always assume fallen powerlines are live, stay well clear of the hazard, warn others and report them to Triple Zero (000) or Ergon on 13 16 70.

"Raising awareness about the range of risks is critical and our message to our customers and communities is simple - Take Care, Stay Line Aware.”



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