Ergon Energy and Energex, as part of Energy Queensland, have won a Safe Work Award for a lifesaving tool to help improve safety around powerlines on work sites in the air and on the ground.

The online mapping application pinpoints the location of 178,000km of overhead powerlines and 1.7 million poles across Queensland.

Ergon Energy Community Safety Manager, Aaron Smith, said the award was welcome recognition for a valuable addition to the planning toolkit in a wide variety of industries.

“Whether they are in construction, aviation, agriculture, emergency services or transport, we want to help everyone stay safe when they are operating around our network,” Mr Smith said.

“Last year, we had around 500 incidents involving heavy vehicles, machinery or aircraft and 72 per cent of those were direct contacts with overhead powerlines.

“The Look Up and Live tool has enormous potential to prevent these types of incidents and save lives, and we’re really pleased that it’s been formally recognised as Queensland’s ‘best solution to an identified electrical issue’.”

In the same way Dial Before You Dig helps customers to access maps of critical infrastructure underground, the Look Up and Live tool highlights the risks overhead.

“We all know the importance of preparing for a job and mitigating any risks – knowing the location of powerlines and the exclusion zones that apply should be an essential part of planning,” Mr Smith said.

“The beauty of the overhead powerline mapping tool is it’s accessible from mobile devices, you can print out maps to include in site induction kits and there are quick links to request free safety advice or powerline markers.

“The aviation industry has described the tool as a game changer – it’s exciting to see technology being used to help people stay safe, and we’ll continue working with industry to improve powerline safety.”

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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