Working near power lines – Avoiding Utility Strikes series

Welcome to SafeWork SA’s tool box series on avoiding utility strikes. This series is all about avoiding utility
strikes while digging or working near overhead power lines. This is the fourth episode, Working Near Overhead Power Lines. This toolbox outlines the safe approach limits for people and minimum safe clearance distances for machinery when working near overhead power lines. Before starting work, careful planning and preparation is essential to ensure work is done safely. There are many hazards associated with working near overhead power lines, including electrical lead-in to your property. Electricity can be extremely dangerous and can flash over a gap. Working near is where there is a reasonable possibility of coming within an unsafe distance to a power line. A person or piece of machinery can be some distance from a power line and still be in danger. There is a real risk that a person can be electrocuted directly or through objects being held. Working near overhead power lines can introduce many high-risk construction
work activities. Power lines swing in wind and sag due to heat. This movement must be allowed for in any safe clearance distance. A documented Safe Work Method Statement will need to be developed for those activities identifying site specific hazards and the appropriate risk controls. The SWMS must also describe how the control measures are to be implemented, monitored, and reviewed, and should include what actions are required in the event contact is made. The prescribed safe clearance distances are covered by law and must be adhered to at all times. Any breach of these distances can result in severe injuries and even death. Safe clearance distances differ for people, machinery and structures. There are safe approach limits that must be maintained by people working near power lines. Prescribed distances are dependent on the voltage of the power line. Low voltage is anything under 1000 volts, and high voltage is anything over 1000 volts. Ensure the voltage is correctly identified. The minimum safe approach limit is measured from the closest power line to the closest part of the person. This includes clothing worn or tools being held. For example, working near a 240 volt power line, a person’s approach limit, including an object held, can be no closer than 3 metres. If you need to work closer than 3 metres then a SWMS will need to be implemented. As the diagram shows, you can work as close as 1 metre to a power line as long as the movement of tools, materials, and structures are taken into account. Remember the higher the voltage, the greater the approach limits. Safe operating distances from power lines are different again for machinery, such as cranes, excavators or elevating work platforms. Safe clearance distances depend on whether the work is done with or without a person spotting the activity. No machinery must come within 6.4 metres of a stobie pole, or 10 metres from a tower without a spotter and additional control measures. Again, as with people, safe clearance distances depend on the voltage of the power line. For example, for an 11 KV power line with a spotter in place, you can work between 6.4 metres and 3 metres to a power line. If you need to work machinery closer than minimum safe clearance distances, contact the technical regulator for advice on authorisations required. A SWMS will also need to be implemented based on a risk assessment and any advice given. The minimum safe clearance distance to power lines is measured from the part of the machinery, including its load, that is closest to the power line wire. To work to the prescribed distances, you must be able to show that you have allowed for any likely movement for both the power line and the machinery, including operator error. The safe clearance distances are absolute and cannot be breached at any time. Any breach of the clearance puts you and others in immediate danger of electric shock. So, to recap, in order to operate machinery to minimum safe clearance distances, you are required by law to meet the following safety requirements. Identify the line voltage. Determine if it’s high or low. High voltage power lines are those of more than 1,000 volts of electricity. Complete a documented SWMS based on a risk assessment. If you need to work closer than minimum safe clearance distances, seek authorisation and confirm with SA Power Networks before commencing. And, comply with any conditions specified by SA Power Networks or the technical regulator. Get a spotter to carry out spotting duties at all times. A spotter must be a competent person qualified by experience, training, or both. Their sole duty is to observe and warn against unsafe machinery distance from power lines, including the lifting attachments and the load. The spotter must have clear line of sight and be able communicate with the operator effectively. It is important that a spotter does not undertake other tasks whilst spotting. Consider visibility of power lines when undertaking your risk assessment. Tiger tails are visual indicators that can only be used on low voltage lines. They don‘t insulate lines, as some might think. They help operators of machinery and workers identify distance and perspective of the line. When working, operating machinery, or erecting scaffolds near overhead power lines, it is recommended that you contact SA Power Networks to install tiger tails on the closest low voltage lines. When using tiger tails on power lines, you must still maintain legal clearance distances at all times. If the safe clearance distance cannot be maintained, you will need to apply for a network access permit from SA Power Networks. On receipt of the network access permit, you will need to sign and retain it until your operation is completed. The permit will ensure the power lines will be controlled in an isolated or protected state until the permit is returned. The permit has conditions that must be clearly understood before you sign it. So in summary, remember, electricity can be extremely dangerous. Any breach of legal safe clearance distances with power lines can result in severe injuries and even death. Builders, contractors and workers are reminded to identify any overhead power lines that will be a hazard and reduce the risks so far as is reasonably practicable, maintain legal safe clearances to overhead power lines, complete a documented Safe Work Method Statement based on a risk assessment, use a spotter if operating machinery, and if a permit to isolate electricity or place it in a protected state is issued, comply with all the permit’s requirements. Additional information on minimum safe clearance distances to structures, including scaffolds, is covered in Toolbox 5 of the series. For more information on workplace safety, visit or call us on 1300 365 255.

Women At Work (Skills USA–Non-traditional Builders)

Rob McClendon: Well, with the opening of the
new 320,000-square-foot building in Oklahoma City, the Boeing Co. is preparing to more
than double its workforce in Oklahoma. More than 2,100 jobs are coming to the state
according to the company’s CEO because of Oklahoma’s reputation for top-end affordable
engineers. But maintaining a well-skilled workforce is
an investment, which is where our Alisa Hines picks up the story. Alisa Hines: That’s right, Rob. Across the aerospace industry, companies are
in search of high-skilled, well-trained employees, which is why Boeing hosted a group of Oklahoma
educators to help give them some insight into the importance of piquing students’ interest
in aviation at an early age. With a presence in Oklahoma since 1953, engineers
at Boeing have been supporting Tinker Air Force Base and the missions they do for our
country. Michael Emmelhainz: We provide engineering
solutions for the sustainment of the aircraft and weapons system that the Tinker Air Force
Base supports. Alisa: Michael Emmelhainz is the site director
at Boeing and says engineering talent is key to their success, but not always easy to find. Michael: As the global economy expands, the
ability to, to, to have that engineering talent gets to be more and more of a challenge. We’re expanding in Oklahoma City; we’re, we’re
actually gonna double in size over the next two years, and as we do that, it’s gonna drive
more and more requirements for engineering talent. Certainly we get a pretty good supply from
the regional universities, OU, OSU, and, uh, and that certainly is a huge benefit to what
we need. I want to be here another 50 or 100 years,
so we need a pipeline of engineering and math students to help fill that need as we go forward. Alisa: So they’re helping build their own
pipeline. Michael: We were honored this year to get
to host the education day portion of the Oklahoma Aerospace Summit, and it’s a very, very important
event. It’s one where teachers throughout the state
are invited, they come and they sit through some workshops and learn more and more about
stem education, the aerospace industry, how we can partner and support them. So it’s a great opportunity for them to spend
some time with leadership in the aerospace community and understand it a little bit better,
but it’s just a wonderful way, also, for us to thank them for what they do to help ensure
the education of our young people. Alisa: According to retired Brig. Gen. Ben Robinson, there’s a shortage of engineers
in aerospace, and it takes a long time to train someone so we need to start early. Ben Robinson: It’s important not just in Oklahoma
but across America. We have got to improve our science, technology,
engineering and math if we want to get from where we are right now, from 17th in the world
in engineering back to the top. That’s the way we’re gonna create jobs because
we’re going to bring engineering back from offshore, back to America; this is, this is
where it starts. An engineer starts in middle school, and it’s
a decade-and-a-half-long process, but it starts in middle school. We’ve got to start making those connections
now and firing up and creating that enthusiasm, that creativity, that ingenuity in our middle
school students, and they will produce engineers in the future. So this is, this is a, this is our paying
it forward to our future. Female voice: Do we still see evidence of
those impacts today? Alisa: So how do you get students excited
about such a challenging field? Dorinda Risenhoover is with the Oklahoma NASA
Space Grant Consortium. Dorinda Risenhoover: Kids don’t realize it,
but they’re born as scientists; you know, when they’re little babies, they’re little
natural scientists. And somewhere along the way they decide, most,
mostly girls, but even some of the boys decide that they might be so good at science, and
they don’t realize it’s just what they’ve been doing all their entire life. And so activities like this remind them that
anyone can be a scientist, and that they are a scientist every single day. Alisa: But before you can teach the student
— Dorinda: I have them come up first with how
can they make it move with just the rocket. Alisa: — you have to teach the teacher. Dorinda: Well, the biggest thing is, especially
right now with the huge push of STEM education, science, technology, engineering and mathematics,
that they need real-life, hands-on activities that they can do with their students that
are simple enough and applicable enough back to the classroom and cheap. And the activities that I’m doing with them,
which are very consistent with a lot of NASA activities, they are using recyclable materials
or using very cheap materials, so the teachers can easily implement these in their classroom. And it’s a real working model that allows
the children to really discover the concept without being told the concept. Alisa: Kelly Wardlaw is a Stillwater Middle
School teacher and says it’s hands-on instruction. Kelly Wardlaw: Anytime you can put something
in their hands and get ’em playing, then they’re learning, and they don’t know it, and they
love it. [laughing]. Alisa: Just lookin’ at how much fun these
teachers are havin’, I’d say their students are in for a really fun school year. Teri Kimble: Oh they will love it, absolutely,
anytime you give them a chance to work. They’re probably better with glue sticks than
we are. [laugh]. Janell Lundgren: They always learn. Every time you give ’em something to do, they’re
always learning something. Alisa: Even after school programs are getting
involved. Cedric Currin-Moore is the STEM project coordinator
for the Oklahoma After School Network and says these activities help connect education
to the real world. Cedric Currin-Moore: And it shows not only
teachers, but students how important science is, math is, and how, you know, it connects
to the aerospace industry and other industries. Alisa: This program has even caught the eye
of the director of the National Career Pathways Network, David Bond. David Bond: This is extremely important; I’m
very impressed with what’s going on here. The teachers are learning ways to show students
how what they’re learning in the classroom is used in the real world, and that’s just
a perfect way to learn. Alisa: A learning experience for teachers
to take back to the classroom and make future engineers. Now, while many of the jobs coming into the
state may be filled with Boeing workers from Wichita and the West Coast, Boeing officials
know that for the long-term viability of their company, they need to be able to produce home-grown
engineering talent. Rob: Now, I want to ask you about something
Gen. Ben Robinson said. Does it really take 18 years to educate an
engineer? Alisa: You heard right, Rob. STEM classes tend to build upon themselves,
and STEM advocates seem to think that to get kids interested in these skills, they need
to get to them before they hit high school because once they hit high school, they seem
to think taking these kind of classes is just too hard. Rob: Humph. Pretty interesting. Thank you so much, Alisa. Alisa: You’re welcome, Rob. Rob: Now, when we return we’ll take a look
at why the next big thing in aviation may be very, very small.

Kirk’s Story | Mental Health at Work

You come in in the morning and you think to yourself why am I here? And then you go home and you feel physically sick because you didn’t know what you were going to walk into. My name’s Kirk Robinson and I’m an Associate Director within Mace. My role is making sure everybody goes home the same way they came in in the morning. I’ve got one daughter, Holly love her to bits, she’s my best mate. Dads and daughters they always say are very close. At 13 years old she’s 13 stone. She developed an eating disorder through being bullied at school. When I looked at her again, She’s five and a quarter stone and I allowed that to happen to my best friend. All the while this is going on, I’m still coming into work. It was very very difficult. I was here physically, but mentally I was all over the place. You do not want to get up in the morning, you don’t want to talk to anybody you know you’ve got to go out you know you’ve got to earn some money. Construction’s always been seen as a very macho culture get on and deal with it, man up. Grow a pair, if you like. It doesn’t matter what industry it is there’s always a stigma attached with mental health. My line manager, thankfully did say to me on several occasions, he said if you don’t want to come in, he said just send us a text and say ‘I am not coming in.’ If I hadn’t had that support network I swear, as God is my witness, I would have done something ridiculous and ended up as a statistic. I’ve started carrying out a lot of mental health awareness toolbox talks. It gives me the opportunity to get the guys to talk to one another and to talk to me, and then recognise that if they have got a problem, they’re not on their own. The Mental Health at Work website pulls all these resources together so that if you just go on the website, filter it by your industry and then that will give you, or your line manager resources to point you in the right direction and to help them to support somebody that is struggling. In the word of the sainted Bob Austins, “It’s good to talk.”

Estimator at Fitzgerald & Sons Gives His Professional Opinion on Estimating by Viewpoint

My name is John Zepa, and I’ve been with Fitzgerald & Sons Plumbing for over 15 years. Having the estimating products, some of the benefits that we have, it’s very accurate, it gives you a scientific way of breaking everything down, the hours, the labor, the materials, and giving you a number that’s accurate. You can manipulate it from there, I liked that also. There’s lots of ways to manipulate it, you can do it within the takeoff itself, you can do it afterward on the summary sheet when you’re putting your bid together, you can adjust labor, you can adjust materials and products, and it just gives us flexibility. The estimating program reduces errors, it reduces our time, but the errors it includes, you can build assemblies, and what it does is it puts all these parts and pieces together. So you can just hit one button, and it puts a big part together, and you don’t have to go through and make sure every time you have all these pieces included, it’s all included in this one button type of a thing. It helps me reduce errors that way. I think having attached items to items, you don’t forget to put them in, and you don’t miss them, they’re all included. So when you get done, you’re not just talking about pipe and fittings, but you’re getting down to details of floss and solder, and that sort of thing, nitrogen, things that are used to complete the project that you don’t necessarily look at on the outside. When we build a certain part, if it’s identical to another part or if you can use it, take part of that take off you just did, and you might be able to use it in three or four different places on different levels, and all you have to do is hit the button each time and you’ve got all those done, you don’t have to retake them off. Sometimes there might just be minor changes, you can take it off and then just switch a few things to make that area complete. So it saves time that way, you don’t have to get your calculator out for a lot of this stuff, it has all the numbers, the prices in it, it just calculates for you.

Why WeWork’s Business Model Is Risky | WSJ

– [Spencer] WeWork’s IPO is
coming as soon as next month. – Investors might rightly be wondering if it’s a bridge to nowhere. – This is, obviously,
an unprofitable company. We’ve seen a number of these companies come to market this year
with actually mixed results. – A lot of numbers are swirling around, but if you really wanna understand
WeWork’s business model, look at this one, $47 billion. That’s how much the
company is on the hook for in lease obligations leading
up to its public offering. It says a lot about how the company works and why some investors
are eyeing the risks. (pleasant piano and orchestral music) You probably know WeWork,
which recently changed its name to The We Company, as an office space with a specific aesthetic. You know what we’re talking about. The glass walls, plants, cafes, mid-century-style furniture. WeWork’s basic business model
is to lease large spaces, transform them to look like this, and then rent them out to
individuals and companies at a higher price. – [Spokesman] Our software
finds the best buildings in the best locations.
(dramatic orchestral music) Before we even begin construction, we build full 3D models to make sure we’re creating environments
that allow members to thrive. – [Spencer] As of 2018,
the company operated more than 35 million square
feet of space globally, and it currently occupies 528 locations in 29 countries around the world. (dramatic orchestral music) – [Spokesman] Speed is important, because on average, we
open two new locations every single day.
(dramatic orchestral music) – To cover the costs of
the renovations and leases, WeWork charges individuals and companies through four different membership options. For one of the cheaper plans, a member can bring their laptop and sit in a common area
if space is available, and for the most expensive plan, companies can rent out full offices, suites, or entire floors. WeWork also offers a service
called Powered by We, full custom build-outs
for larger companies. So why are some analysts
and investors skeptical? Well, some are concerned
with those lease obligations. When WeWork signs a lease
on a building in the U.S., they commit to an average of 15 years, but WeWork’s members only commit
to an average of 15 months. WeWork’s obligations top $47.2 billion, but its customers have only signed leases on $3.4 billion worth of space. Recently, the company has started signing more long-term clients, but still, with 528 locations, that’s a
lot of time and space to fill. It’s unclear how much
space WeWork needs to fill to break even, but the
company’s occupancy rate fell from 84% to about 80%
in the final quarter of 2018. The company said the drop
was caused by expansion. New offices traditionally
take up to 18 months to fill, but it’s unclear what would happen if suddenly fewer
start-ups and freelancers were looking for workspace, which could happen in
an economic downturn. It’s also unclear what would happen if existing tenants started to default. One place investors are
looking for precedent is International Workplace
Group, formerly known as Regus, a Swiss company with a similar
business model to WeWork. During the economic
downturn in the early 2000s, IWG’s U.S. unit filed for bankruptcy as its revenue fell but long-term
leases remained in place. WeWork has said it’s
flexible business model would help keep it safe in a downturn. The company’s rapid expansion has helped it stay out
in front of competitors, but some investors are
concerned that could change. That’s because WeWork’s business
model is easy to replicate. The company has filed for
some industrial design and furniture patent protections, but anyone with enough cash can lease out industrial office space
and flip it, and they have. A New York-based rival, Knotel, hit an estimated $1 billion valuation following a recent round of funding, and in 2017, Blackstone
acquired a majority share of The Office Group, a flexible workplace provider in the U.K. Investors will have to decide if WeWork’s size and
flexibility are enough to protect it in a period
of economic uncertainty. (pleasant mallet percussion music)

How Dropbox helps builders manage projects | Dropbox Business | Dropbox

Construction projects
don’t have to be messy. From bid to completion, here’s how
Dropbox Business can help. You know better than anyone
that time is money. Save hours at the bidding stage by setting up a secure folder with
all of your essential documents. If third parties
need to send you files, the File Request button ensures the right person
uploads it to the right place. You can also use Dropbox Paper
to collaborate on your project. In this collaborative document,
you can assign tasks, set due dates and add virtually any file type
with your team. You won the bid. Now set up a project folder
and share it with your team. Dropbox seamlessly connects you
with a wide range of tools and no file size limits, so you can collaborate
with architects, designers, vendors and subcontractors no matter what program they use. Gathering feedback is easy too. By connecting Dropbox
to your preferred workflow tool, such as Bluebeam Revu, you can access, mark up
and save your drawings without ever leaving the program. And for everyone else,’s automatic previews allow vendors, clients
and contractors to add annotations and comments
on what needs to change. Since small changes
can have a big impact on a job site, you need one central source
of information. Dropbox gives
your project management team real-time access to drawing, reports
and design files. It integrates with software
like Fieldwire, so when a change is made
on an architect’s desk, the team can action it onsite
right away. Your Dropbox files
are synced automatically, so there’s no need to wait
until your lunchbreak to redownload them either. You can even scan receipts,
invoices and other physical documents with the Dropbox doc scanner. Your Dropbox files
are also available offline, so whether you’re in the open
or five storeys underground, you’ve always got access. No matter the certificate,
document or schematic, Dropbox Business
gives your construction company everything you need to manage
a project from start to finish. Try it today.