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HSEQ
Public Safety
Transco’s assets, distributed over the entire emirate of Abu-Dhabi and parts of the northern emirates, constitute its power and water transmission networks which are mainly comprised of electrical substations, overhead power transmission lines, underground cables, water pumping stations and the associated water transmission pipelines. While electrical substations and water pumping stations are secured areas with controlled access, other assets of the transmission networks could be accessed by the general public and contractors. All these assets have inherited health and safety hazards that pose significant risk of severe consequences. The following health and safety advice, therefore, must be considered by anyone who comes near to these assets for any reasons.

Advice for contractors intending to work near or on Transco’s assets

Any contractor who intends to work near or on Transco’s underground power cables, overhead power transmission lines or water transmission pipelines must inform Transco prior to initiation of any work activity. The following generic advice must be followed by the contractors after they get formal written permission from Transco and are going to start the intended works.

  • No mechanical excavation is allowed in the vicinity of underground cables or water transmission pipelines. Only manual excavation in the presence of Transco’s authorized personnel is permitted.
  • No equipment or machinery will be allowed to cross under overhead power transmission lines unless the required safety clearance/distance is maintained between the highest point on the contractor’s equipment or machinery and the lowest sag point of the specific overhead power transmission line.
  • Exposed underground cables or water transmission pipelines must be reinstated to the original state by the concerned contractor. In addition, this must be done to the satisfaction of Transco’s concerned personnel.
  • Any contractor working near or on Transco’s assets within the emirate of Abu-Dhabi is liable to pay compensation charges in case of any damage to these assets. It should be noted that Amiri Decree No. 3/2003, an amendment to Decree No. 10/1976, for underground cables and overhead power transmission lines and Amiri Decree No. 4/2003, an amendment to Decree No. 12/1978, for water transmission pipelines are applicable in case of damage to these assets. For other emirates the relevant local laws will be applicable.
  • It should also be noted that there are penalties (imprisonment) stipulated in the aforementioned Amiri Decrees that will be applicable to any contractor who is found to be working (excavation or any other activity) near or on Transco’s assets without its permission. Besides, there are financial penalties in place as per Transco procedure. Advice for general public when coming near to Transco’s assets A number of Transco’s electrical substations and a few water pumping stations are located within the main cities. As mentioned above, these locations are secured areas with controlled access. Entrance to these locations, however, might be a possibility subject to failure of the existing access controls (like access gates left unlocked or the fence or boundary is damaged). These locations are extremely hazardous places for general public and no one should attempt to enter for whatever reason. Transco’s underground cables run throughout the main cities and its surroundings. They are buried under ground levels and as such do not pose any harm to general public unless and until they are tempered with or approached for any reasons. Similarly Transco’s water transmission pipelines run throughout the main cities and their surroundings. They are buried both under and above ground levels, depending on whether they pass through the main cities or its surroundings respectively, and as such do not pose any harm to general public unless and until they are tempered with or approached for any reasons. Transco’s overhead power transmission lines mostly run through the surroundings of the main cities. These transmission lines are bare conductors and if an object gets too close it is possible that a ‘flashover’ can occur, where electricity will jump over a distance to reach earth via the object. This can kill or cause severe shocks and burns to any person nearby. In order to prevent this happening, there are minimum safety clearances that must be maintained from these overhead lines by external parties. Overhead power transmission lines and under ground cables are associated with electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) around them. The levels of these electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) produced by Transco’s power transmission system are far below the levels at which it could interfere with human health. For details on this topic see our Environment page on www.transco.ae Please take note of the advice given below when coming near to overhead power transmission lines.
  • Do not encroach within the safety zone of the overhead transmission lines. Take care when moving long and tall objects underneath the transmission line. They should be moved only when horizontal or in their lowest position.
  • Climbing the pylons (Towers) for whatever reason is strictly prohibited. These pylons are provided with anti-climbing devices. It must not be considered as a challenge to venture on climbing the pylon.
  • Never reduce the clearance under overhead transmission lines by dumping or tipping waste material, erecting structures or creating storage areas under lines. If any changes in ground levels are proposed in the vicinity of the overhead line which might reduce safety clearances please contact Transco first.
  • Never use the base of a pylon or area immediately around it to store materials.
  • Remember it is dangerous to climb on top of high vehicles parked or passing under overhead conductors. Take care where radio aerials are attached to high vehicles.
  • Do not stand under the base of pylons during desert storms. Do not light fires beneath overhead power transmission lines.If in the desert, do not make tents or base camps under or near overhead transmission lines.
  • Do not direct jets of water at overhead power transmission lines for whatever reasons.
  • Never fly kites or model aircraft near overhead power transmission lines. Be careful to avoid overhead power transmission lines when operating light aircraft or similar flying objects.
  • Fishing rods and poles made from carbon fiber and similar materials will conduct electricity. Fish at least 30 meters or more away from overhead power transmission lines.
  • Most of Transco’s overhead power transmission lines are in the desert, unpopulated areas where the possibility of having trees underneath the lines is very rare. This is a possibility when the transmission lines are passing through the near surroundings of the main cities. A flashover to a tree can cause a loss of supply to customers, a fire in the tree or can lead to the tree itself conducting electricity. Transco has a duty to make sure that no tree comes close enough to an overhead transmission line to cause such a danger. We have patrolling teams that are regularly inspecting our transmission lines for ensuring that safety clearances are maintained.
  •      
    Overhead Transmission Line   Electrical Substation (Inside)
     
    HV Underground Cables   HV Underground Cables
     
    Electrical Substation   Cables Identification


    How to report hazards near Transco’s assets, so we can take action

    Transco’s assets under normal situations, and with the advice given above being followed, are considerably safe for the general public. However in abnormal situations like sand storms and heavy rains or in case of faults on the transmission network, these assets might pose an imminent risk to general public and contractors. Examples may include broken overhead line conductors lying on the ground, exposed underground cables, or a high pressure water discharge from a damaged pipeline. If you observe such hazardous situations, you should take the following actions;

  • Do not approach any hazard. Keep as far away as possible
  • Warn anyone in the vicinity to evacuate the area
  • Contact HSEQ on hseq@transco.ae
  • Give your name and contact phone number
  • Explain the nature of the hazardous situation
  • Give as much information as possible so that we can identify the geographic location
  • Await further contact from a Transco engineer