Trucking

If you work in the road transport industry, there’s a chance you might come into contact with our electricity assets while you’re on the road. To stay safe, look out for electrical hazards and practice safe work habits when planning, loading and driving to your destination.

Understanding the risks

Unfortunately, workers in the road transport industry have the highest rates of accidental contact with poles, wires and pillar boxes. Electrical accidents cause serious injuries and can damage your load or vehicle.

Trucking activities with higher risks include:

  • Driving vehicles with high load (over 4.6m)
  • Loading or unloading your vehicle by hand or using cranes or forklifts
  • Working aloft on your vehicle when tying down loads, fastening tarps or checking livestock.

Check out our Trucking Industry Safety Pack (PDF 2.6 mb). Quantities of these can be ordered  via our Brochure and sticker order form.

How to work safe

Before you start work, make sure you ‘take care stay line aware’. You can use a simple risk management process like the one below to identify electrical hazards, assess risks and plan how to work safely around them.

1. Identify electrical hazards

Before you transport a load, unload your vehicle, exit your vehicle or climb aloft, take time to  identify any electrical hazards in the area. These are objects or tasks that could cause damage or injury, like a power pole or moving large machinery under powerlines.

To spot hazards:

  1. Check the location of powerlines and other electrical infrastructure by:
    1. locating overhead powerlines visually or using our Look up and Live map
    2. noting the exclusion zone distances for each overhead powerline
    3. checking for underground assets like pillar boxes, which can easily be reversed over
  2. Check the height of your load and any nearby overhead powerlines:
    1. If your load exceeds 4.6m, see the instructions for transporting high loads
    2. Request overhead powerline heights from us by calling 13 12 53
  3. Check for changing conditions that could create new hazards, like:
    1. Heat causing powerlines to sag, reducing clearance
    2. High winds causing lines to sway or fall
    3. Lower light at dawn/dusk causing reduced visibility
    4. Damaged power poles reducing clearance
  4. Check that your vehicle and machinery is in good working order, with no signs of damage.

Look up and Live Map – visit now

IMPORTANT: Stay well clear of damaged powerlines and report them immediately by calling triple zero (000).

2. Use safe work habits

If you can’t eliminate a hazard, you can use safe work habits to reduce the risk as much as possible.  For example:

  • Identifying hazards using the steps above any time you exit your vehicle, or go aloft
  • Carrying out maintenance and storage activities well away from powerlines
  • Always lowering plant to the transport position when moving or relocating
  • Not using “bumpers” or Polypipe to keep wires from snagging the load
  • Ensuring machinery is checked after contact with overhead wires. Damaged tyres have the potential to explode
  • Never attempting to measure the height of an overhead powerline. Call us on 13 12 53.

Safe work habits for transporting high loads

A high load is any loaded vehicle taller than 4.6m. At this height, there’s a chance your load could contact overhead powerlines when you’re on the road.

Because of the safety risks, you must get written authorisation from us before you transport a load or machinery taller than 4.6 metres. Submit a Notification to Transport High Load form (PDF 256.8 kb) to advise us of the details of your high load.

High loads come in all shapes and sizes - the one thing they have in common is the possibility of coming into contact with live overhead powerlines. If the height of your vehicle or load is over 4.6 metres you are transporting a high load and are at risk.

If you intend to transport a high load, you must comply with the Electrical Safety Code of Practice.

This means before taking the journey with a high load, you must submit a Notification to Transport High Load form. This form lets us know the details of what you are transporting, the route you are taking, and the timeframe you are going to be travelling in.

Once we’ve reviewed your submission, we’ll issue an authorisation to travel. You must have this document in writing  before you can transport a high load.

When planning and travelling, take the time to spot any electrical hazards. Locate overhead powerlines visually or use our Look Up And Live app. Make sure you note the different exclusion zone distances for operating plant and vehicles.

You should also be on the lookout for changing conditions that could affect your journey and create new hazards. These could include sagging powerlines caused by heat on a hot day, high winds causing lines to sway or fall, visibility being affected by the time of day you are travelling, and any damage to poles or infrastructure that could affect clearance heights.

Remember to also check for poles and overhead powerlines before climbing on top of your vehicle. The extra height gained could put you into a powerline exclusion zone, even if your load is not.

Before starting work take the time to plan.

Visit our website or contact us for more information about transporting high loads and working safely around powerlines.

Want more information?

Safety fact sheets

Download our fact sheets for information about working safe:

To order factsheets in industry packs, use our brochure & sticker order form.

Awareness sessions

We also offer training sessions to help your team work safely near overhead and underground powerlines. These sessions can be targeted for conferences, business groups, local councils or emergency services groups. We cover topics such as exclusion zones, safety observer zones and how to safely operate plant and vehicles near powerlines.

Email us to find out more or to book a session.

Other forms and guidelines

Links to some popular request forms and information.