From building new projects to recovering a truck in the frozen north on a dark snow swept night, if you hear or see power lines stop and have a good think. There are times I write and try hard not to let smug hindsight creep in. However, when it comes to injury caused by electricity leaping from power lines hindsight has nothing to do with it. In the news today is a case in point, WGA Pty Ltd has 28 days to lodge an appeal against a fine of 1 million Australian dollars.
In 2014 they were given advice about the risks of working near a 33,000 volt power line that served the Illawarra train line in New South Wales. The residential construction that they were working on in South Hurstville, Sydney, was at the point of having aluminium window frames fitted. Initial reports in The Leader suggested that a 49 year old installer had been moving a section of frame and it hit the nearby cables. In the report of the enquiry in The Construction Index today it states that the power arched to strike the framework and the worker received 30% burns.
It was shown that a SafeWork NSW inspector and Sydney Trains had given the firm plenty of advice about working safely on the exterior of the apartment block. Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean praised SafeWork for bringing the prosecution. He also said the case highlighted the need for safe working around power cables. It was 2014, we should have learned by then, shouldn’t we?
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For more case study articles see the below:
The Worst Health and Safety Fail that Looked Safe. Click here
‘It Will Be Right’ Trench walls and excavators increase the risk. Click here