If you are driving a vehicle with a high load of materials or transporting large plant items, the risk of hitting overhead powerlines while in transit is real and needs to be managed.
Any person or company transporting a high load (in excess of 4.6m high) in the Ausgrid network area must comply with the Work Near Overhead Powerlines Code of Practice 2006.
When transporting high loads, plan safe travel paths that allow you to maintain the required clearances. Before entering a worksite or property, contact the site manager or property owner for information on the approved safe travel path on site. Always visually check all powerlines if you must pass beneath them, and ensure you don’t vary from the approved safe travel path.
Loads over 4.6 metres require a permit to travel through the Ausgrid network area. Please allow up to 5 weeks to process the permit application. Contact Ausgrid on 13 13 65 with the following information:
- Dimensions of the load (vehicle height, width and length)
- Origin and destination of the load and route specification
- Date and time of travel
- Load description
- Vehicle Registration/s
- Name, address and contact details of the service provider responsible for facilitating the transport of the high load and providing safety precautions.
If a vehicle does contact overhead powerlines it will become 'live' and the electricity will attempt to pass through it to the ground.
In order to stay safe you should:
- Always remain in the vehicle
- Never approach, attempt to rescue or allow others to approach any machinery or vehicles in contact with power lines
- Stay a minimum of 8 metres from the vehicle (about a bus length away)
- Treat all power lines as if they are 'live'
- Call 000 and Ausgrid on 13 13 88 immediately
- After the emergency is over and you are able to access the vehicle, get a professional to check all tyres, bearings and brakes before you operate or drive it