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Take Care, Stay Line Aware this cane crushing season

Published: 14 Jun 2019 8:07am

Ergon Energy is urging cane harvester, heavy vehicle and haul-out operators to take care and stay line aware during crushing season after 23 accidental contacts with the electricity network last season.

The latest instalment of Ergon’s Take Care, Stay Line Aware campaign has a strong Bundaberg flavour, featuring the Hummock Road cane farm of Mark and Sue Piper.

“We’re very happy for our family’s farm to be used to help spread such an important safety message,” Mr Piper said.

“We know people who work in agricultural industries generally and around cane farms specifically are at higher risk of coming into contact with electrical infrastructure, so it’s good to be able to play our part in raising awareness to prevent these types of incidents.”

On average, 40 incidents involving sugar industry workers are reported each year.

Ergon Energy’s General Manager Customer, Brand and External Relations Michael Dart said it was important for anyone operating machinery around powerlines to know the risks to avoid putting themselves in potentially deadly situations.

“Any contact with a live powerline has the potential to cause death, severe injury and machinery damage.

“If you’re working around the electricity network it is important to plan ahead, assess the risks, establish control measures and follow safe work practices,” Mr Dart said.

In areas where power poles and wires are in close proximity to cane paddocks, Ergon recommends using powerline markers and safety observers/spotters.

“We understand that we’re talking about around the clock operations and productivity is important, but you can’t put a price on the safety of employees and the community.

“You’ll find more lifesaving advice on how to work safely around the electricity network on our website or give us a call on 13 74 66,” Mr Dart said.

While preventing incidents is the aim of the Take Care, Stay Line Aware campaign, Ergon is also reminding people of what to do if their vehicle brings down powerlines.

“Always treat fallen powerlines as though they are live and the electricity could be travelling through your vehicle.

“The safest thing to do is STAY in the cab, CALL 000 and WAIT for help,” Mr Dart said.

Media Contact: Brett Judge
Phone: 0439 971 765