Check for powerlines when operating heavy vehicles and machinery, reminds WorkSafe Victoria

WorkSafe Victoria reminds all who operate heavy vehicles and machinery to always check for powerlines following a spate of serious incidents.

Just last month, a driver was involved in an accident after the tray of his tip truck came into contact with overhead powerlines while delivering fertilizer on a farm at Moglonemby near Euroa. The truck was damaged by fire but the driver was able to escape without injury.

Also last month, a 55-year-old truck driver was electrocuted in a similar incident at Kergunyah, near Albury.

WorkSafe also said there were seven serious incidents involving overhead powerlines on construction sites across Victoria since mid-November.

WorkSafe Health and Safety Director Marnie Williams said businesses should ensure that workers were not put at risk from powerlines when carrying out tasks as directed.

“No one sets out to hit powerlines but they can sometimes be difficult to see,” said Ms. Williams.

“Whether you are an employer in charge of workers on a construction site, or a farmer directing a contractor, you are responsible for ensuring that workers operating heavy machinery are aware of powerlines in the area before they commence the task.”

Director of Energy Safety at Energy Safe Victoria, Paul Fearon said almost all fatalities and near misses involving large machinery and powerlines were avoidable with the proper precautions.

“This spike has echoes of 2006, when three people were tragically killed in similar but separate incidents,” said Ms. Fearon.

“Since then, ESV has been urging people to Look Up and Live, that is, check for powerlines before work begins.”

For tips to avoid striking powerlines, visit EnergySafe Victoria’s website.

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