Seven powerline accidents in 11 weeks; NT WorkSafe calls for operators to be safer

by | May 13, 2022 | News | 0 comments

NT WorkSafe said it has received seven reports in 11 weeks of machine operators coming in contact with high-voltage power lines, with the majority of the incidents bringing the overhead power lines down.

Executive director Bill Esteves said five of the incidents involved excavators and two incidents involved a forklift and a backhoe, with two of the incidents in Darwin, three in Borroloola, and one each in Kintore and Jilkminggan.

While no serious injuries were reported in the accidents, they cut electricity to the affected areas, he said.

“Contact with live high and low voltage overhead and underground electrical lines poses a serious risk to workers, damage to plant and equipment, legal action, and reputational damage due to the loss of essential services to the community. The person conducting the business or undertaking must manage the risks associated with the hazard,” he said.

Mr Esteves said NT WorkSafe officers were available for advice and assistance and that businesses doing all kinds of electrical works should ensure that effective safety measures are always in place such as:

  • Workers who do meet the requirement of Regulation 12 of the Electricity Reform Regulations 2000 are not allowed to work close to power lines;
  • Identify and assess risks associated with their contracts with power lines in their workplace using Managing Electrical Risks in the Workplace Code of Practice;
  • Make sure that all persons working around live electrical infrastructures have appropriate training, and instructions for their health and safety;
  • Make use of all control measures to minimize and if possible, eliminate risks of contact with electricity in a contracted workplace
  • Discuss the identified hazards and the harm they can do to workers, and measures that have been implemented for the work contract;
  • Follow the NT’s work health and safety consultation, cooperation and coordination Code of Practice when deciding on how to manage the risks in the workplace. This includes when reviewing and making changes to current processes.

 

 

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