Prepare for a safe harvest this season

Photo: Contributed.
Photo: Contributed.

With crop harvest underway across regional NSW, Essential Energy is advising farmers and their contractors to consider potential electrical hazards before taking to the fields.

Manager community relations Northern, David Crough, said pre-work safety checks could help to reduce the risks during the busy harvest time.

“Take the time to identify the location of power poles, stay wires and other potential electrical hazards before operating machinery,” he said.

“This will minimise the risk of electrical incidents that can result in lost production time, damage to infrastructure and power outages.”

Essential Energy advises using safety observers to guide machinery movements during harvesting.

“Operators should be aware of the height of machinery when in both the raised and lowered positions to ensure safe clearance distances from powerlines are maintained,” Mr Crough said.

“Always monitor weather conditions throughout the day as powerlines can sway during windy weather, sag in the heat, and be hard to see at dawn and dusk.”

If machinery does contact the electricity network, remain at least eight metres away, treat powerlines as ‘live’ and call Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80.

If the situation is life-threatening, ring Triple-0 (000).

Machinery operators should remain in the cabin if it is safe to do so, stay calm and wait for the power to be isolated before attempting to disembark.

“Essential Energy can provide advice on ways to improve the visibility of powerlines on your property, including the use of aerial and ground level markers,” Mr Crough said.

For maps of Essential Energy’s overhead electricity network or to enquire about having overhead powerline markers installed for a small cost, visit: essentialenergy.com.au/overhead and fill out the online forms.