NSW: Safety Watchdog Releases Mobile Plant/Overhead Power Lines Safety Alert

WorkCover NSW has issued a safety alert concerning the dangers involved in operating mobile plant near overhead power lines.

WorkCover and NSW Electricity supply authorities continue to receive notifications of incidents where mobile plant have come into contact with energised overhead power lines.

Since July 2011, there have been a total of 55 incidents reported where cranes, machinery and other mobile plant have come into contact with power lines.

Such incidents include:

  • A mobile crane operator struck a 11kV power line when unloading a truck.
  • A truck driver raised a tipper and struck a 11kV power line.
  • An excavator boom struck a 11kV power line.
  • A low loader struck low voltage overhead power lines.
  • An operator raised a drill rig into high voltage transmission lines.
  • A wheat harvester struck power lines, which resulted in a fire that engulfed the machine.
  • A cement truck reversed into an overhead service line at a residential property.

The state safety administrator points out that each of these incidents is the result of a failure to identify the hazard of overhead power lines and a failure to implement a safe system of work, including the maintenance of safe approach distances from the energised power lines.


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