The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Electrical Line Strike Procedure

Graham Marshall - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Between 2001 and 2011, there were approximately 80 cases of mobile equipment coming into contact with live overhead power lines in Western Australia.

Lines strikes occur on average about eight time per year and a quarter of all workplace electrical fatalities are due to line strikes.

Excavators are the most common pieces of equipment to cause line strikes, followed by trucks, drill-rigs and cranes.

The following actions are recommended should contact be made with a live overhead power line or a flash-over occurs with mobile plant.

+    Stop all work in the vicinity of the incident and summon help to have the power line isolated.

+    Keep all personnel away from the mobile plant, as the equipment and ground could be energized.

+    If assistance is unavailable, attempt to break the machinery’s contact with the live overhead power line.

+   Jumping from affected plant while the power line is still energized is not recommended.

+   However, where there is a risk of imminent danger, such as fire, jumping may be a necessary option.

+   Leap clear of the plant and specifically avoid simultaneous physical contact between the plant and ground.

+   Report the incident to management, any network authority and Resources Safety.

+   An exclusion zone of 300 metres should be maintained around rubber-tyred mobile plant for at least 24 hours.

+   The exclusion zone is to ensure that no-one is put at risk in the event of a tyre explosion.

+   The operator should be sent to have a precautionary electrocardiogram (ECG).

+  Mobile plant that has been in contact with a live overhead power line must be checked for damage.

+  Any necessary repairs must be completed before the mobile plant is returned to service.

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