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Plan for overhead powerline risks during harvest

Farmers and workers have been issued with an urgent callout to plan harvest activities with overhead powerline risks in mind after one worker was killed and six others hospitalised in Central Queensland.

An investigation has commenced into the fatal incident in which a pineapple harvester contacted overhead lines on a farm near Yeppoon. One worker was electrocuted, and six others received electric shocks.

Other recent incidents involving sugar cane harvesters and cane trailer tippers contacting overhead powerlines and straying into exclusion zones are also being investigated. Last year, forty per cent of all overhead powerline contacts were in the sugar industry.

If you are working near overhead powerlines with machinery taller than 4.6 metres, your machinery could breach the safe exclusion zone, putting you at serious risk. All powerlines carry potentially lethal voltages. Talk to your electricity distributor about options for moving your powerlines or making them safer if work must be done near to them.

How to work safely around powerlines:

Further information

For more information and safety advice, contact:

The Queensland Farmers Federation (QFF) currently has a rebate program which offers a co-contribution up to a maximum of $300 for farmers installing Rotamarkas. Eligibility criteria apply and applications close 16 December 2021. Find out more at QFF website.