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LOOK UP AND LIVE: What to do if contact with power lines occurs

What to do if contact with powerlines occurs

What happens if overhead or underground powerlines are contacted? 

1. The machinery or vehicle will become ‘live’ at the same voltage as the powerlines contacted and electricity will attempt to pass through the vehicle 

2. Anything else in contact with the powerlines can become live (e.g. fences and trees) 

3. Potentially dangerous electrical fields extending approximately 8 metres will be created around anything in contact with the powerline

What to do if contact is made?

1. Do not panic, remain calm and stay in the vehicle until the powerlines removed. DO NOT risk being electrocuted by leaving the vehicle before the power is disconnected. 

2. Advise anyone near the incident site to stay a minimum of 8 metres from the vehicle and anything else in contact with the powerlines

3. Treat all powerlines as if they are live. 

4. Call 000 immediately to report, and call the appropriate energy company to switch off the power 

What if the person in the vehicle needs to be evacuated? 

Emergency evacuations are extremely dangerous and should only be attempted as a last resort (e.g. fires) 

1. If escape from the vehicle is absolutely necessary, it is critical you jump well clear ensuring that you don’t have contact with the vehicle and ground at the same time

2. When you jump, ensure you land with your feet together. If required, take another one/two jumps with your feet together, ensuring you do not touch the vehicle, fall forward/backward or allow your feet to step apart 

3. You must jump with your feet together until you are at least 8m from the vehicle, powerlines, or anything else in contact with them. 

4. Once clear, do not return to the vehicle. 

Beware Tyres can Explode during/after contact with powerlines

The electrical current flowing through the vehicle could cause: 
• Tyres to start burning inside 
• Createing a build-up of gases that could cause the tyre to explode at a later time, even within 24 hours after the incident 
• Resulting explosion could potentially injure persons 
• The vehicle should be isolated at a safe distance for 24 hours