Machinery operators reminded to stay powerline safe

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Machinery operators are being reminded to be safe working around powerlines. Essential Energy issued the reminder following a series of incidents involving excavation and harvest equipment.

Essential Energy’s General Manager Safety, HR, and Environment, David Nardi, said more than 20 incidents of equipment contacting powerlines were reported in October across New South Wales.

“We work closely with our at-risk industries, including agri-business and construction, however, there’s still a small minority of individuals that don’t seem to recognise the risks – jeopardising their safety and the safety of others,” David said.

Late last month, two men suffered serious burns after a grain auger struck overhead powerlines in Queensland.

“Maintaining safe distances from powerlines is absolutely critical for those operating bulldozers, excavators, augers, cranes and other high load machinery,” David said. “Hazard identification, risk assessments, and control measures must be considered prior to work commencing.

“Assigning a safety observer to a worksite when moving equipment near overhead powerlines provides a vital second set of eyes on the wires and can protect against potential contact with electricity.”

If equipment does contact the electricity network, stay at least eight metres away, treat all powerlines as ‘live’ and call Essential Energy immediately on 13 20 80. If the situation is life-threatening, call Triple-0 (000).

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