WorkCover prosecuted a heavy vehicle hire and haulage company after two of its workers received electric shocks while unloading construction material underneath live powerlines.
At the time of the incident, a truck driver and a crane operator were unloading housing trusses as part of a residential construction project when the crane touched the 11,000 volt overhead power lines which threw the crane operator from the controls.
When the truck driver ran to the controls to stop the veering crane, he also received a shock and became stuck to the controls.
The crane operator, who had recovered sufficiently, grabbed the truck driver’s shoulder to pull him free but received a second shock which again threw him to the ground.
The crane operator was finally able to pull the truck driver off the electrified controls using a crane sling as a lasso.
The crane operator suffered a heart attack, but was resuscitated on site. He also sustained severe electrical burns and part of his left foot was ‘subsequently amputated’.
The truck driver sustained electrical burns. The company was prosecuted and fined $65,000 by the court for breaches of the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: email@example.com.
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