Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, said energy companies have reported a significant increase in incidents involving overhead powerlines in the last 12 months – all at properties without markers.
“Farms are one of NSW’s most dangerous workplaces, and what we’re seeing is more and more incidents where augers, trucks and low flying planes have hit electrical powerlines,” Mr Anderson said.
“This can be incredibly dangerous for farmers and their workers, which is why SafeWork has teamed up with Essential Energy to encourage every farmer to install overhead markers on their properties.
Overhead powerline markers are highly visible reflective devices installed by an energy provider along overhead powerlines to provide a safety indication of wire location.
After completing an eligible workshop, webinar, virtual farm safety experience or advisory visit from SafeWork NSW, landholders can apply for a $500 small business rebate towards the cost of the markers. Essential Energy has committed to offering free labour to install up to 10 markers on each property.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall welcomed this much-needed support for farmers in NSW.
“These rebates are a great excuse for farmers to stop and take time to think about safety right across their operations,” Mr Marshall said.
“With a $500 rebate and free expert installation by Essential Energy, we want every eligible farmer to take advantage of this initiative and make their workplace safer.
As we are on the road to recovery from drought, the NSW Government is supporting our primary industries to be stronger and safer than ever.”
Mr Anderson said the rebates were just one strategy the NSW Government was undertaking to improve safety on farms, with SafeWork’s Quad Bike Safety Rebate Program also receiving an extra $2.8 million investment.
“Contributions made by NSW farmers investing in quad bike safety improvements under the NSW Quad Bike Rebate Program have now exceeded $50 million,” Mr Anderson said.
“While most of this funding has been used to upgrade to safer side-by-side vehicles, 1000 operator protector devices (roll bars) have been installed on quad bikes and 99 farmers have purchased drones as alternatives to quad bike use.”
For more information on rebates visit the SafeWork NSW website.