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Can You Work Near Power Lines?
Posted on May 28, 2022
When needing to work near power lines it is important to know the correct distances and what can or cannot be done. Only qualified professionals will be able to work on power lines and from certain distances up on power poles. For jobs located near the base of the power pole or some distance away from the powerlines, special considerations need to be taken into account. Here at The Local Electrician, our Level 2 Electrician team is able to perform work on powerlines and poles for Sydney locals.
Only professional contractors can work near power lines while an electrician can only work on them. The main jobs that require work near power lines are construction, agricultural and vegetation tasks. There are specific requirements when operating close to the power lines to ensure everyone can safely work near them.
What Jobs Often Occur Near Power Lines?
The main types of work near power lines include:
- Operating cranes, mobile plants and other larger vehicles and machinery
- Performing tree and vegetation cutting and management
- Any scaffolding or building works
- Carrying out agricultural jobs
- Transporting items and high loads
Since these jobs do not directly relate to jobs performed on the powerlines the qualified people performing these types of jobs need to know the rules and regulations with working close to them.
How to Safely Work Near Power Lines?
Follow the guide below to safely work near power lines:
Identify the Hazards
Knowing what could cause harm to those who are working near the powerlines is important. See where the work needs to be done and if it is too close to the power pole or lines and at an unsafe distance. Alert any person who will be working near the power pole and lines to ensure that they understand the dangers.
Perform a Risk Assessment
Performing a risk assessment will help in determining how to manage these risks and what to do in the chance of a hazard occurring. This will also influence what and if jobs can be performed in the area as well as help workers know what to do in these situations. Certain risk factors include:
- Power Lines and their height, location, place and visibility when working near them
- What power lines have insulation or not and also their voltage levels
- Knowing if any power lines are sagging with temperature changes or would sway in winds as these can cause safety hazards when working
- Knowing the terrain and the site conditions, such as do pedestrians walk here frequently, will livestock be a hazard, will traffic interfere with the work etc.
- Checking the weather and environmental conditions, such as will it storm
- What the loads will be, including the nature, type, shape and size, and treating them all as conductive material to be safer around the powerlines
- The type of work that will be carried out and how frequently these task with be performed
- All personnel working on the job near the power lines are qualified to do so and have the skills and experiences as well
- Being clear and consistent in the packing up and setting up processes
Control the Risk
It is needed to control all the risks and dangers as much as possible before working near power lines and poles to ensure that people can safely work. Knowing if the hazard can be eliminated or removed from the workspace or altered so it is not as threatening are key. If the hazard cannot be removed, such as turning off power to the lines for the duration of the job or preventing people, plants and equipment from being close to the worksite, then here are other ways to minimise risks:
- Substitute any hazard for something safer, such as applying non-conductive tools or using ultrasonic measurement materials over mechanical types
- Isolate people from the hazards, for instance blocking the path to the site or blocking access to the specific zones on the power pole
- Applying engineering controls, for example hardwiring the work equipment to not be able to reach a certain height
- Place warning signs, such as tiger tails over powerlines, to alert people of danger
- Ensure everyone wears personal protective equipment when working close to powerlines
Check Control Measures and Perform Inspections
During the job, ensure to check the control and safety measures to make certain everyone is safe. They need to be regularly checked and reviewed to protect people but also to adapt if changes are made. It is also encouraged to have an electrician perform an electrical safety inspection on the site to see the levels of danger with people working close to the power lines.
Who Can Work On Powerlines?
Qualified personnel can perform work near power lines, such as tree trimmers or construction workers, but only certain individuals can work on the actual power lines and poles. This includes level 2 asp electricians and those who work for Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy. When work needs to be done to the power lines and poles then contacting a level 2 electrician or either Ausgrid or Endeavour Energy will need to occur.
Expert Level 2 Electricians Working On Power Lines and Poles
The Local Electrician our fully qualified level 2 electricians are here to inspect, repair and install power lines and poles. We are able to access the workplace to ensure people can work near power lines and when needed carry out services directly related to them as well.
For trusted level 2 electrical and power line services – rely on The Local Electrician!
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Our skilled electricians are qualified to carry out any electrical repair or installation within Sydney. We strive to deliver absolute customer satisfaction by offering electrical services that are affordable, safe and long lasting.
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