The team from Bishopp developed a solution to minimise the risk posed by overhead powerlines when installing and changing vinyl billboard skins.
All new billboards near overhead powerlines are constructed with rear gantry walkways, allowing work to be performed from behind the billboard face.
A fixed piece of sail track forces the sail track to be fed in the opposite direction to powerlines.
A blocker is also installed to prevent the sail track from being fed towards the powerlines.
Following Bishopp's demonstration of how to change a vinyl billboard skin in close proximity to overhead powerlines, the Electrical Office Safety released and distributed a brochure titled 'Working safely on billboards near powerlines'.
The solution has been rolled out to all Bishopp structures that are in close proximity to overhead powerlines.
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On screen text
Nick McAlpine, Bishopp Billboards - Safe Work and Return to Work Awards 2017
Bishopp is a large format billboard company operating about 800 sites stretching right across Queensland. We're a little bit different from other advertising companies in that we operate our own construction arm as well. So we've got a team of 15 constructors, fabricators, and skin installers who are out on the road every day of the week, spending time maintaining our signs, building new structures and replacing vinyl skins, which is a big part of our business. The inherent risks in that are three fold. Obviously working from heights is a big challenge. Quite often our structures are more than 10 meters above ground level. We're operating in close proximity to high volume traffic. And then finally, the inherent risk is always there with close proximity to high voltage power lines, which is a very big part of our safety focus as well.
Bishopp has a very strong safety culture from our CEO on down our staff our taught every day of the week that when they start their job to when they go home at night that they always need to be mindful of the safety challenges that are inherent in the work that we do. So we're very active in our peak industry body, The Outdoor Media Association, which has as part of its remit a keen focus on raising safety standards across the board. We're very proud that we have been at the forefront of some of those initiatives, which have helped keep the industry as a whole safe. When we do have sites that are in close proximity to high voltage power lines we take extra steps. Specific examples on those high voltage sites include having fixed sail tracks, which have no risk at all of being accidentally led into an above power line. There are on the spot directions, which are right next to where they will be doing the work to remind people of the inherent risk.
Those sorts of steps we've found have been really helpful, very practical and very successful. It's hard to put the benefits of safety into a single box. First and foremost we want our staff to get home safely every afternoon and that happens. Secondly, there's unashamedly a financial dividend in keeping our staff safe. Our reputation is crucial to us as well. We live and die by our reputation, whether it's be in our relationships with the councils that are approving our signs, our landowners who have our signs on their property, with our staff or with our clients. The benefits are shared evenly across the whole business. Well our record speaks for itself. Bishopp is a business that's been active for 23 years now and we're very proud to say that we've never had an event or an incident related to electrical power or any sort of injury along those lines.RUN TIME: 2min 45sec