Any work undertaken near a live low voltage overhead electric line carries the risk of electric shock. Touching a live overhead line with any part of the body, tools or any other equipment can cause serious injury and even fatality.
Make sure that you and your team are aware of the following steps that can be taken to manage the risk of an electric shock.
Forward planning is essential. Before work starts, the person in control should:
Eliminating the risk of electric shock
Isolating the electric supply
For all work between 0.5 metres and 4 metres from an overhead line, the safest option is to eliminate the risk of electric shock by isolating the electricity supply to the property while that work is being done.
Isolating the electric supply means disconnecting a property’s electricity supply from the electricity distribution lines so that the overhead electric line to the property is no longer live. Isolation is temporary, for a specified period of time while work takes place.
Keep people informed so they can plan ahead
Find out who needs to know that the electricity supply will be temporarily isolated. Such as:
Further, anyone who could be affected by isolation of the electricity supply should be told:
Minimum Approach Distances (MADs)
If work needs to take place near a low voltage overhead electric line and isolating the electricity supply is not reasonably practicable, then the worker’s body, their tools, and their equipment must be kept a safe distance away from the overhead line. This safe distance is known as the minimum approach distance, or MAD.
Keeping you and your team safe at work is a priority, so make sure you are aware of the employer’s requirements of working near power lines. The HazardCo App Site Review resource has a list of electrical controls that should be in place to mitigate the risk of electrical hazards.
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