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Farm safety warning as seeding gets underway

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With the seeding season getting underway following recent rain, South Australia's farmers are being warned not to "put their lives at risk" on their properties.

That warning has come from SA Power Networks, which has an extensive system of poles and wires running across rural properties in SA.

“We average about 20 incidents every year where farmers using farm equipment hit our powerlines,” said Paul Roberts, Corporate Affairs Manager for SA Power Networks. “Every job has its risks and farmers need to be managing them to ensure everyone is safe on their farm so that they don’t trigger a tragedy.

“Apart from the obvious risk of electric shock or worse for the person involved, these incidents also can affect other members of the local community. I can’t imagine anything worse than having to deal with an avoidable death on your farm. It would be tragic for everyone involved,” Mr Roberts said.

“We are constantly urging farmers to be vigilant when moving tall and wide vehicles on their property, and particularly when they’re seeding and are likely to be under pressure to get the job done to take advantage of some good rains.

“On-farm incidents are often sparked by work ranging from moving grain augers, the use of telescopic spray units and the raising of tip trucks. Clearly, some thinking about the hazards and a bit of risk management before starting a task, could ensure farmers avoid such incidents,” Mr Roberts said. “It could be a matter of life or death.”

The following on-farm incidents have occurred in 2018:

Date Location/line type Detail
11/01/2018 MULGUNDAWA 11,000 Volt (11kV) Tractor hit pole
11/02/2018 GOODE 19kV SWER (19,000 Volt Single Wire Earth Return) Tipper Contacting powerline
16/02/2018 WARUNDA 19kV SWER Tractor pulled mains
26/03/2018 KOONGAWA 19kV SWER Truck hit powerline
12/04/2018 CANNAWIGARA 11kV Auger in powerline
19/04/2018 CARALUE 19kV SWER Machinery pulled down powerline
26/04/2018 WILDELOO 19kV SWER Truck reversed into pole
02/05/2018 PENTON VALE 19kV SWER Tractor hit pole
05/05/2018 GALGA 19kV SWER Tractor knocked down pole
08/05/2018 WALLAROO 19kV SWER Truck hit pole and powerline

Media contact: 0403 582 500

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