Look Before You Dig
Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is investigating machinery operators after an excavator hit underground high voltage cabling causing a fire at a Shepparton school.
ESV inspectors attended St Luke’s Catholic Primary School on Wednesday, 27 July after the damaged cabling pulled on a kiosk transformer, which started a fire.
No one was injured and no school buildings were impacted by the fire.
A number of residents surrounding the school were left without power for several hours as electrical crews worked to repair the network.
ESV, Victoria’s energy safety regulator, is investigating the incident and has the power to prosecute machinery operators and businesses that contact overhead or underground powerlines.
ESV and Before You Dig Australia (BYDA), formerly Dial Before You Dig, said the incident was an important reminder to all Victorian machinery operators to always check records and ensure it it safe to dig before commencing work.
Machinery operators should follow the ESV No Go Zone guidelines, never digging where underground assets are located. Machinery operators must check sfor the existence of underground assets, which can be done through BYDA.
There are different types of assets underground in Victoria, including electricity, telecommunications, gas, pipelines, water, drainage and sewerage and it is important to note that underground assets including high voltage electricity cables are located on both public and private land.
No Go Zones also apply to overhead powerlines with ESV’s Look Up and Live campaign urging Victorian heavy machinery operators to be aware of minimum safety distances before starting work for more than a decade.
For information on underground assets go to byda.com.au.
For more information on No Go Zones go to esv.vic.gov.au.