Be 360 Aware Farming and Agriculture

Every year, many Western Australian farming families are affected by severe storms and bush fires.

While farmers are familiar with their land and the hazards on their property, it is always important to consider minimising risks while operating farming machinery around private powerlines. So, do you know how to best manage your private powerlines this storm season?

Powerlines on a Private Property

Property owners are responsible for all electrical assets on their property beyond the main connection point. This means that a powerline is considered private after your customer meter box.

The responsibilities of a powerline become dependent on two factors including;

  1. The type of powerline whether it be a distribution (up to 33,000 volts), or transmission (66,000 to 330,000 volts)
  2. The location of vegetation that has the potential to interfere with a powerline, whether it be naturally occurring or cultivated

Tree clearances

Although vegetation clearances are required between any given powerline, there are specific clearances required to ensure that a safe distance is kept between smaller and larger powerline voltages.

Danger Zones!

For work purposes a ‘danger zone’ is defined by the areas above any powerline; and

  • Within 3.0 meter of a powerline voltage up to and including 33,00 volts; or
  • Within 6.0 meters of a powerline voltage exceeding 33,000 volts

Who is responsible?

For network operator powerlines located on farms and/or reserves

  • Where the vegetation has been planted or cultivated
    • Cultivated vegetation is the responsibility of the owner/ occupier of a property
  • Where vegetation naturally occurs
    • Original bushland near powerlines is the responsibility of the network operators

When working on a large property i.e. a farm, there are a lot of safety objectives to consider. This includes when operating machinery and completing other work amongst the land, for example;

  • Where you are ploughing
  • The height of your machinery
  • The voltage of powerlines that sit within your property

 

Harvesting and seeding

  • Check for overhead power lines
  • Never assume the height of overhead powerlines as the weather can significantly influence the wires sagging
  • If swathed canola makes contact with a powerline and causes a power interruption, do not attempt to remove and resolve the problem. Instead, call a qualified professional to resolve the issue.
  • If your machinery contacts a powerline, stay in the cab and phone Western Power for assistance.

Common tasks that could lead to faults include,

  • Moving and operating irrigation pipes
  • Ground or Ariel base crop spraying
  • Transporting and moving structures
  • The installation of agricultural netting

Leading Faults

  • Failure of hardwood poles
  • Failure of overhead conductors
  • Failure of wires
  • Weather influenced distribution network

What to look out for

  • Jarrah power poles that are excessively leaning to one side
  • Evidence of corrosion, rotting and/or other further damages
  • Noticeable electrical overhead damages, lose or exposed dangling wires
  • Overgrown vegetation

Stay Safe, what you can do!

  • Ensure that you maintain surrounding vegetation
  • Note any noticeable low-hanging wires, corrosion, cracks or termite damages and contact a qualified Overhead Distribution Maintenance team

Reduce the risk this storm season!

Be sure to tie down any loose/ light weight objects, including:

  • Trampolines
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Bikes
  • Clothing

Here at Morris Infrastructure Group we offer 24-hour support call-outs to remote and metropolitan areas around Western Australia.

Th team at Morris Infrastructure Group hold a proven and solid track record in delivering quality infrastructure projects with a strong focus on safety and client satisfaction.  

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