Control measure knowledge

If it is necessary to rescue a casualty who is within 5m of a high-voltage conductor, the following steps should be followed:

  • Request permission from the designated competent person to perform the rescue of a casualty, providing information such as:
    • Condition of casualty
    • Distance and position of the casualty in relation to the conductor
    • Whether the casualty is at, above or below ground level
    • Weather conditions
    • Transmission tower markings and signs
  • Record permission when received
  • Carry out a risk assessment
  • Proceed with caution

However, if it can be determined that a casualty is in direct contact with a low-voltage conductor:

  • Carry out a risk assessment
  • Pull the casualty clear using electrical gloves or other dry insulating material

An exclusion zone of at least 5m should be implemented. To minimise the effects of the equalisation of voltages when leaving the exclusion zone, one of the following methods should be used:

  • Shuffle, keeping both feet close together, maintaining contact with the ground at all times
  • Hop, making sure that both feet hit the ground at the same time
  • Make leaping strides, so that one foot is off the ground at all times

In extreme circumstances, for example, if the vehicle is on fire, it may not be safe for people to remain in the vehicle. If this is the case, they will need to leave the affected vehicle in a safe manner. An exclusion zone of at least 5m should be implemented. To minimise the effects of the equalisation of voltages when leaving the exclusion zone, one of the following methods should be used:

  • Shuffle, keeping both feet close together, maintaining contact with the ground at all times
  • Hop, making sure that both feet hit the ground at the same time
  • Make leaping strides, so that one foot is off the ground at all times

If the person is unable to self-extricate, refer to Extrication from vehicle.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide information, instruction and training to all personnel on safe procedures for the rescue of persons at risk from electrocution

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Instruct people to leave the exclusion zone using an appropriate method
  • Consider advising people at risk of electrocution to jump clear of source of live electricity, or out of an unsafe affected vehicle, breaking all contact with it

  • Consider using insulating materials for people to step onto as they move away from the source of live electricity or out of an unsafe affected vehicle

  • Stay 1 metre from live parts of the system when performing a rescue of person in contact with live electricity