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New electrical safety initiative for rural communities

A joint venture between the Electrical Safety Office and the Queensland Country Women's Association is paying dividends for rural communities and those working with electricity.

A new safety checklist highlights electrical safety precautions around the farm and home and targets households in rural Queensland. The QCWA believes everyone needs to know about these important electrical issues so they can work with their families to take on board the latest safety tips and advice and address lingering bad habits.

The checklist flyer follows ESO's electrical safety promotion in rural Queensland which was stepped up recently after a number of incidents in the Tablelands area. These included two fatalities due to faulty electrical equipment, as well as a lack of a safety switch. There was also another fatality in the Tablelands which involved contact with overhead power.

The checklist includes the operation and maintenance of electrical equipment and working around overhead powerlines. Farms and households are urged to ensure safety switches are installed on all circuits and to regularly check the switch by pressing the 'Test' or 'T' button on each safety switch every three months (tip - do this when you get your rates bill).

A list of key contact numbers is included in case a person suffers of shock or tingles from electrical appliances or equipment, taps or other metal fittings. And there's a reminder about shock and tingles which might just save a life: don't ignore it—it's a sign something's not right.

If you get a shock or tingle from using electrical equipment, stop using it immediately. Either get a licensed electrician to check the equipment or throw them out.

If you do get a shock or tingle from taps or other metal fittings call Energex (13 19 62), Essential Energy (13 20 80) or Ergon Energy (13 16 70) immediately and ask them to check your property. This is a free service. DO NOT TOUCH anything until it has been checked.

Further information

For more information call 1300 362 128 or go to WorkSafe.qld.gov.au/electricity or electricalsafety.qld.gov.au.