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Damage to electrical infrastructure dangerous and costly

Horizon Power crews attend hundreds of incidents each year which are the result of private machinery operators and members of the public causing damage to Horizon Power assets.

In one incident in Karratha two weeks ago, power to residents was disrupted for more than an hour and an Horizon Power crew member was injured attending a fault caused by a contractor hitting a Horizon Power mini pillar containing live electrical wiring and other electrical apparatus whilst clearing a house site.

Since then, just in Karratha, there have been another three incidents recorded in which people have damaged mini pillars.

Karratha linesman Josh Reeves spent a week in Perth receiving treatment for burns resulting from attending the fault caused by the damage to the mini pillar.

Mr Reeves, who was accompanied by colleague Kim Stubbs, said the incident could have been much worse because there were several children in the street riding their bikes at the time a 415 volt flashover occurred and he sustained burns to his arms and face.

Mini pillars can provide power for up to two blocks of households so they contain a lot of electricity and can be very dangerous if damaged.

Horizon Power services a vast area in Western Australia which includes Carnarvon, the Mid West, Esperance, Norseman and Hopetoun, the Pilbara and the Kimberley.

In just one year, Horizon Power has recorded in excess of 285 incidents in which a third party has damaged assets with their cars or machinery, such as cutting through cable or knocking over mini-pillars which result can in outages and leave live electrical wiring exposed.

Horizon Power General Manager NWIS Business Ziggy Wilk said it not only cost money to send out crews to fix up faults but these incidents often resulted in an inconvenience to other customers caused by loss of power and most importantly, put lives of Horizon Power employees, contractors and members of the public at risk.

“People need to really take care around electrical infrastructure, including dialling before digging, checking where infrastructure is on a site before starting any work, not playing on or around assets and definitely not deliberately damaging them as is sometimes the case,” Mr Wilk said.

If you see any damage to electrical infrastructure or want to report a fault, please call Horizon Power on 13 23 51. Dial 000 in emergency situations. Please never approach a fallen powerline or any other damaged infrastructure.


Contact Reference: Horizon Power media line 1800 799 745