Glen Cook, Energy Queensland

Category six – Best demonstrated leadership in work health and safety

Glen Cook -  cat 6

Glen Cook is an experienced and enthusiastic community safety specialist. He provides leadership and expert advice to key external stakeholders, community groups and industries. Not only does Glen consult and collaborate with high risk industries, he advocates for them. Having worked as an electrician for over 25 years, he has been a first responder to many serious injuries, burns and fatalities due to third party contact with powerlines.

Glen saw the need for a powerline safety tool to be publicly available that would help workers plan ahead. He was the driving force behind the tool that workers can use to set exclusion zones, obtain voltages and receive quotes to de-energise or relocate powerlines, all before the work starts. From early feedback Glen has added extra features such as an alarm to warn operators when powerlines are near.

The vision is to have this tool as a nationwide product that will change the way workplaces plan work near powerlines and reduce the number of powerline contacts. Glen has been asked to speak about the development, success and future applications of at the Esri User Conference in the USA.

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Read transcript

Glen Cook: My name is Glen Cook. Most people call me Cookie. I'm the Principal Community Safety Specialist at Energy Queensland. I've been to several fatalities involving accidental contact with power lines. What we realized is we're having 25 overhead power line strikes to one underground power strike. So we decided that we needed something for overhead power lines. is a mapping application that basically overlays power lines onto a geospatial map, including imagery. So then you can go in and get yourself a plan to safely work near those power lines. Having this free product available could then also educate and make people more aware of overhead power line dangers and also having that plan. So it's very important to plan your work when you're working near overhead power lines. If you have no plan, most likely you would contact an overhead power line.

Glen Cook: This was driven by industry. Our team, we're an advocate for these industries and they come to us and tell us what they want, and then we go back to our business and see what we can provide to make sure that they're getting what they need. And that's what this application has delivered. We've had about 150 people per day are using the tool. So around about 50,000 per year, we're going to have. We've had nothing but positive feedback to be honest. I enjoy helping people. That is what I really like about this role. So I'll go and do a face-to-face, talk to 20, 30, 200 people. Most people always ask me the question, did you learn something today? And hours go, of course I did, Cookie.

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Last updated
10 December 2019