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New weapon in Look Up and Live campaign

Published: 19 Jun 2018 9:54am

Spinning power line markers could help save lives in the sugar industry.

Ergon Energy’s principal community safety specialist Glen Cook said the movement was more likely to attract the attention of harvester and haul-out drivers working near the electricity network.

“Power lines are such an integral part of our lives that most of us pass them every day without even noticing them, which is not a problem until your life depends on it,” Mr Cook said.

“Humans are hard-wired to notice movement, so by putting spinning markers on power lines near cane paddocks we can increase visibility and reduce the risk of machines coming into contact with the electricity network.”

Across Queensland every year hundreds of vehicles hit power lines, poles and pillar boxes, putting the operators and the community at risk.

On average, 35-40 incidents involving sugar industry workers are reported annually.

People who are involved in an incident and fail to report it may unwittingly be putting themselves and others at further risk.

“Any machine that comes into contact with the electricity network should be isolated for 24 hours as a precaution,” Mr Cook said. “There is a risk of pyrolysis, which could lead to tyres exploding.”

The Look Up and Live message is especially critical during the crushing when vehicles are operating around the clock.

Where there are power lines near paddocks, Ergon Energy recommends not harvesting at night and using safety observers.

“While we understand productivity is a priority, nothing is more important than the safety of your people and the community.

“Every year people die or suffer serious injuries because of unsafe work practices around electricity.

“If you’re unsure, please call 13 74 66 or go to our website for safety advice, including information on power line markers.” Mr Cook said.

Media Contact: Emma Oliveri
Phone: 0457 566 079

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