SAFETY FIRST: Electricity incidents are near the top of workplace safety concerns in Australia.
SAFETY FIRST: Electricity incidents are near the top of workplace safety concerns in Australia. Contributed

Workplace injuries spark safety call

TRADIES and construction workers are urged to consider electrical safety on work sites following the announcement of a Senate inquiry into industrial deaths.

According to Safe Work Australia an average of four per cent of work-related deaths in Australia were caused by contact with electricity between 2007 and 2016.

Essential Energy regional manager Brendon Neyland said the construction industry near the top of the at-risk groups targeted by the company's Public Electrical Safety Awareness Plan.

"The program aims to increase awareness of the potential safety hazards associated with working near the electricity network,” he said.

"We then deliver targeted public safety messages to those at-risk industries and regions.”

In 2016-17 the building industry including construction and demolition accounted for 126 incidents of contact with Essential Energy's electricity network or 15 per cent of total public safety incidents.

Of the 66 construction-related incidents involving contact with the electricity network more than half were related to earthmoving activities.

"If you are excavating, consider the location of equipment relative to underground and overhead powerlines, street light columns and pillar boxes.

"Identify the location of underground utility assets before beginning work by registering with the free Dial Before You Dig referral service at www.1100.com.au

"Assess the potential risk of working close to an electrical hazard and ensure appropriate controls are put in place to prevent incidents occurring.”