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Power line risk sparks innovation at Bishopp Billboards

Installing billboard signage can be a dangerous business, especially when working near overhead power lines.

Sadly, there have been a number of incidents where billboard sign installers have been seriously injured by coming into contact with overhead power lines.

Having seen the horrors of serious electrical incidents in their industry, Bishopp Billboard Constructions' management and installers came together to tackle the risk posed by overhead power lines.

Bishopp manages over 800 billboards across Queensland, with their team of six highly-experienced installers performing thousands of signage installations every years.

Bishopp wanted to go beyond best practice to protect their installers; to improve outdoor advertising industry safety practices and help prevent future tragedies across their industry.

The solution – which took home top honours in the electrical safety category in the Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017 – was to develop an innovative billboard structure design which significantly reduced the risk of a worker or their tools coming into contact with overhead power lines.

The new design features a rear gantry walkway allowing work to be done behind the billboard's face, away from power lines. Additionally, changes to the design of the sail track eliminates the possibility of the worker accidentally feeding equipment into the overhead lines.

The new billboard structure is being rolled out to all Bishopp billboard structures close to overhead powerlines. Robust safe work methods, signage and a new brochure on working near powerlines (developed with support from the Electrical Safety Office) compliment the design changes.

This innovative solution, supported by management commitment and leadership, ensures that the dangers of overhead powerlines are at the forefront of workers' minds when they arrive on site and carry out work near overheads.

If you've developed a solution to an identified workplace electrical safety issue in the last year, we want to hear about it!

Enter the Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2018 – your solution could be a product, design/engineering innovation, training program, awareness raising activity or other risk control measure. Nominations close 6 July 2018.

Further information

Find out more at worksafe.qld.gov.au/safe-work-and-return-to-work-awards

Watch a short film about Bishopp Billboards innovative approach to safety.

Last updated
29 May 2018

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