New on-the-spot fines to reduce electrical safety incidents introduced

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Two new electrical safety on the spot fines have been introduced on 30 June to ensure that workers are safe while working around powerlines, following 9 serious electrical safety incidents in the past 12 months.

The State Penalties and Enforcement Regulation 2014 was amended and two new infringement notices for breaches of the requirements under the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013 for working near overhead or underground powerlines were introduced.

“Minister for Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace wrote an open letter to all Queensland employers in October 2016 reminding them of the important ‘look up and live’ message and sought their urgent assistance in raising awareness about safe exclusion zones,” said Head of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland Dr. Simon Blackwood.

In 2016, 4 people died while working around powerlines, while other people have suffered electric shocks and electrical burns.

“Our current data shows that tree loppers, billboard and signage installers, construction workers and those working on the land are most at risk,” said Dr. Blackwood.

Dr. Blackwood said that workplace health and safety inspectors will now be able to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $3000 to businesses who fail to identify the risks and implement appropriate controls.

The Office of Industrial Relations will be using these on the spot fines as well as other approaches such as awareness raising and prosecution, to help ensure the safety of workers around overhead or underground electric lines.

More information about it is available on Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.

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