Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is again reminding machinery operators to be careful around powerlines after two incidents occurred in one day last week. Last month, ESV reported three incidents involving excavators dangerously making contact with powerlines within one week. On Thursday, 10 February, close calls again occurred at two separate sites across the state, one in Frankston South and the other at Woodside, near Sale. Fortunately, neither incident resulted in injury or property damage. The Frankston South incident involved an excavator making contact with low voltage wires in a residential street and temporarily disrupting electricity supply. The Woodside incident occurred at a rural property with the excavator making contact with high voltage powerlines, posing a more serious risk. ESV continues to work with machinery operators across Victoria to ensure they are aware of their surroundings, particularly powerlines. The state’s independent energy safety regulator advises all operators to ensure they receive appropriate training or instruction on how to use the equipment competently and to identify, assess and control any risks before they start work. All mobile plant and machinery should follow the No Go Zone rules, and stay at least 6.4m from any overhead powerline unless additional safety controls are in place. For more than a decade, ESV has promoted this message through its Look Up and Live campaign, calling on workers and operators to be better prepared. In April and May last year, ESV recorded four serious incidents in three weeks where workers were hospitalised after the heavy machinery they were operating made contact with overhead powerlines. In late 2020, a farmworker was killed when the extendable boom on the telehandler he was operating came into contact with overhead powerlines in Gerang Gerung, in north-western Victoria. Details:
ESV Commissioner and Chairperson Marnie Williams“It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been operating machinery, these close calls are an important reminder to always be aware of your surroundings.” “The people involved in these two incidents were fortunate but as we’ve seen in the past, they don’t always end that way.” “We can’t let complacency and carelessness lead to devastating situations that can have lasting impacts on friends, family and co-workers.” Media contact: Adrian Bernecich 0437 729 194 | .
Reviewed 14 December 2022