TAKE CARE: Ergon Energy is pleading with all heavy machinery operators to take care, with 26 serious incidents occurring in August. Pic: Supplied
TAKE CARE: Ergon Energy is pleading with all heavy machinery operators to take care, with 26 serious incidents occurring in August. Pic: Supplied

Tara powerlines hit: Machine operator lucky to be alive

HEAVY machinery operators have been causing havoc, and risking lives, with Ergon Energy revealing four separate incidences in quick succession resulting in powerlines being brought down.

It's prompted the major power operator to remind machinery operators to be aware of their surroundings

One of those very serious incident recently occurred in Wandoan, where live powerlines were down and sparking - blocking traffic for hours on August 14.

Ergon Energy Area Manager Nick Grant said all heavy machinery operators needed to take care and be aware of overhead powerlines, after four separate incidents of equipment hitting powerlines in the span of 48 hours on Friday, September 4.

It comes on the back of 346 serious incidents involving plant equipment this year, with seven of those in the past week and 26 in August.

"We've had excavators and cane harvesters hitting poles and bringing down live powerlines in separate events on different parts of the state in the past few days - Tara,

Ingham, Beaudesert and the Burdekin," Mr Grant said.

"It's obvious they didn't see the poles and wires because they hit them and what's frightening is that the potential in all of them is someone being killed.

"All the operators involved are very lucky not to have been killed, but no one should rely on luck when it comes to working around electricity."

Mr Grant said anyone operating heavy machinery on worksites where there were powerlines should plan ahead to ensure they're familiar with where poles and wires are located.

"Ergon Energy has the Look Up And Live app the App store or at www.lookupandlive.com.au," Mr Grant said.

"It's can help map out risks for operators to show where those power poles and wires are, especially if they are operating machinery in unfamiliar territory.

"Most of us have mobile phones these days and free, lifesaving safety advice is at our fingertips."

Anyone involved in an incident that brings down powerlines, Mr Grant said they need to stay in the vehicle, call 000, and then wait for help.


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