Regulator News

Victorian news

Powerline incidents prompt safety warning

WorkSafe Victoria is urging all employers and contractors operating trucks and other mobile plant near overhead power lines to ensure safety is a priority.

Electrocution from contact with powerlines by mobile machinery can cause serious life-changing injuries and death and can occur on large construction sites, sole farming operations and the transport industry. Since November 2020, one worker has died and five others were taken to hospital with serious injuries after their machinery contacted powerlines. WorkSafe is currently investigating six incidents.

The latest occurred on Monday last week: a 54-year old construction worker was taken to hospital in a critical condition after an electric shock when the excavator's arm on his truck struck powerlines at Pakenham.

In November 2020, a farmhand moving hay bales using a telehandler died when the raised attachment hit powerlines.

WorkSafe Executive Director of Health, Julie Nielsen, said that no matter the situation, care had to be taken when using machinery near electrical wires. "Make sure you assess the environment you are operating machinery in and keep clear of live electrical cables because WorkSafe will not hesitate to prosecute duty holders that fail to protect workers." Read more: WorkSafe media release 

National News 

National Fatality Statistics 

Safe Work Australia has not updated its statistics on fatalities since April 29, at which time they had been notified that 32 Australian workers had been killed at work in 2021. The fatalities have been in the following sectors:

  • 12 in Transport, postal & warehousing 
  • 5 in Construction
  • 3 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • 3 in Arts & recreation services
  • 2 in Manufacturing 
  • 2 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
  • 2 in Other Services 
  • 1 in Wholesale trade
  • 1 in Public administration & safety
  • 1 in Accommodation & food services

These figures are based mainly on initial media reports and provide a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards. Note that the figures are based on preliminary reports, and so at times will change. To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage

Share Tweet

RELATED

Events
Tuesday 14 September: Central Safety GroupTopic: New research on manual handling injuries A reminder of the CSG online event next Tuesday, with Professor David Caple presenting on projects related to manual handling...
Read More
International news
USA: Whistleblower warning on chemical assessments Whistleblowers say the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been falsifying dangerous new chemicals’ risk assessments in an effort to make the compounds appear safe and...
Read More
Prosecutions
Victorian news Recently prosecuted company charged in relation to death Melbourne Truss Pty Ltd has been charged with breaching section 26 of the OHS Act, in relation to a March 2020 fatality. A...
Read More