Updates

3 steps to mitigate the risks of working near powerlines

In a reminder of the importance of performing a Job Safety Analysis to assess local conditions, the Queensland Electrical Safety Office and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland have reported that they are investigating an incident where a mobile crane contacted overhead powerlines.

One worker was electrocuted, another suffered serious injuries, while a third required hospital treatment.

By Michael Selinger

In a reminder of the importance of performing a Job Safety Analysis to assess local conditions, the Queensland Electrical Safety Office and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland have reported that they are investigating an incident where a mobile crane contacted overhead powerlines.

One worker was electrocuted, another suffered serious injuries, while a third required hospital treatment.

Dangers of powerlines

The dangers of overhead or underground powerlines is well known. Direct contact with powerlines is not needed to receive an electric shock. This is because electricity can flash or arc across air gaps. The risk of arcing increases as the powerline voltage rises.

Your obligation

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has reminded businesses working near overhead or underground electric lines that they must conduct a site-specific risk assessment.

The steps that the regulator advises should be taken are extracted below:

1.         Develop a safe system of work before you start

2.         Keep workers and contractors informed about electrical safety

3.         Avoid going into exclusion zones

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