Essential Energy is urging farm machinery operators to stay safe when sowing crops near the electricity network following warmer than average autumn conditions across NSW.
Regional manager Northern, Mark Summers, recommended assessing work sites for potential electrical hazards before undertaking sowing activities.
“The hot and dry weather weve experienced this summer can alter network infrastructure conditions,” Mr Summers said.
“Prolonged heat can cause powerlines to sag and reduce line clearance heights from the ground.”
“Be aware of the height and voltage of overhead powerlines in the work area and always transport machinery in the lowered position.”
Essential Energy recommends appointing an onsite safety observer to plan traffic paths and monitor machinery movements around powerlines and poles.
“High loads and machinery carry a much greater risk of contact with powerlines,” Mr Summers said.
“If machinery does contact overhead powerlines, operators are advised to stay in the cabin of their vehicle and contact Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80.”
Electricity can arc or jump across open spaces, so bystanders should remain at least eight metres away and treat powerlines as if they are live.
Property owners can access Essential Energys free overhead electricity network maps by calling 13 23 91 or visiting essentialenergy.com.au/overhead.