Why and when do we need a Safety Spotter?
Tragically, there have been too many electricity-related deaths and countless serious accidents that could have been prevented had more care been taken around power lines on or near work sites. Power lines have become so much a part of our outdoor landscape that it is easy to forget that they are there. When there’s sun in you eyes, trees in your line of vision or the need to be watching something else, you cannot see exactly how close you come to power-lines.
Consequently in the late 1990s Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) took a lead role in establishing a best practice approach for mechanical plant and equipment such as mobile cranes, tipping trucks, concrete pumping machines, scaffolding and elevated work platforms being operated in or near overhead power-lines. This initiative, known as the “No Go Zone” (NGZ) involved the development, introduction and communication of a consistent set of rules when working near overhead power lines.
The Spotter’s sole purpose is to watch over the Worker(s) and their machinery & tools to make sure that they don’t get too close. The term Spotter is defined by ESV as a Safety Observer who is a person competent for the sole task of observing and warning against unsafe approach to overhead power lines and other electrical apparatus.
The No Go Zone rules describe minimum safety requirements that are dependent on the distance between overhead power-lines and the work being performed. These pages provide information about No Go Zones for:
• Distribution overhead power-lines
• Transmission overhead power-lines
• Underground assets
• Building near power-lines
If you or your staff are working near power lines, it is not worth the risk to take short-cuts.
Trying to get a job done quickly can turn into tragedy – and the consequences may be much worse than just a monetary fine.