The directors of a quarry near Geelong, Victoria, have faced the Geelong Magistrates Court over an incident at their site in 2018. They pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to provide a safe workplace.
The incident occured in October of 2018, when an excavator working at the site made contact with overhead power lines when the driver was momentarily unable to see after being blinded by the sun.
A number of power lines disconnected and power supply to the site was cut. Luckily, no workers were injured.
The subsequent investigation by WorkSafe Victoria found that there were no barriers in place to prevent contact with the overhead powerlines, as well as a lack of warning devices and signage. Following the incident, hazard signage, along with a height restriction was installed at the site.
Julie Nielson, WorkSafe Executive Director of Health and Safety explained that employers always have a responsibility to keep a safe working environment.
“This could have easily ended in tragedy, power lines are not always easy to see and it’s up to employers to do everything they can to reduce the risks they pose.”
“If there had been adequate height restriction structures and warning signage in place then this frightening incident could have been avoided.”
The company, Barro Group Pty Ltd, were fined $35,000.