One worker dead and two injured after crane hits powerline

Wednesday, 07 August, 2019

One worker dead and two injured after crane hits powerline

A North Queensland worker has died and two others were hospitalised after a crane came into contact with overhead powerlines.

According to Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) Queensland, one worker was electrocuted, while another suffered serious injuries and a third required hospital treatment. Queensland’s Electrical Safety Office (ESO) and WHS Queensland are investigating the incident.

ESO Executive Director Victoria Thomson said incidents like these are tragic and often avoidable.

“It is a terrible reminder of just how dangerous electricity can be,” Thomson said. “If work must be done near overhead powerlines, I can’t stress enough how important it is to speak to Ergon Energy or Energex before it gets underway.”

“Powerlines can be de-energised or in some cases moved, removing the hazard completely.”

“If that can’t happen then you must ensure your workers know where powerlines are and keep well clear of them — which means they also need to know the height and reach of any equipment they’re going to be using.”

She added that employers need to conduct site-specific risk assessments and develop a safe system of work before starting. Workers and contractors must also be informed about electrical safety and avoid going into exclusion zones. “Overhead and underground powerlines can be identified by consulting maps or talking to the property owner and the electrical entity,” Thomson said.

Queensland workers can use the Look up and live powerline planning tool to find Energex and Ergon Energy electricity networks, request safety advice, organise powerline de-energisation or relocation and apply for safety maskers.

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