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44Excavator Contact With 11,000V Overhead Power-Lines

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Brief Description of Incident/Accident & Description of Consequences/Outcomes:

After repairs at a workshop, a contractor's excavator was being trammed by a fitter to a position on the mine for collection by the operator. The unit was heading in a westerly direction, late in the afternoon. As it crossed a berm its raised boom came in contact with 11,000 Volt overhead power-lines. Although the power-lines were not in use they were energised.

Identified Root Causes:

The fitter moving the excavator did not have appropriate training in the operation of the plant beyond the bounds of the workshop. He was not familiar with the general surroundings and, in particular, was not aware of the overhead power-lines. His visibility at the time was impaired by the afternoon sun.

Energy Type(s) Involved:

Direct contact with live electrical conductors

Equipment Type(s):


Root & Contributing Cause(s):

LTA awareness

LTA hazard identification

LTA infrastructure design

LTA inspection

LTA isolation

LTA risk assessment

LTA safety warnings

LTA vehicle proximity

LTA work method

Stated or Potential Consequence(s):

Potential Fatality

Preventative/Recommended/Accepted Steps of Risk Mitigation, Points of Interest:

1. Standard operating procedures for activities of this type should be developed, implemented, monitored and reviewed . This should require a risk assessment in the development of a site safety procedure or job safety analysis to be undertaken before any unusual work involving heavy earthmoving equipment is commenced. This may include the relocation of machinery outside of the mining excavation or the relocation from one site to another under self power or by haulage. To reasonably control the identified risk and residual risk, controls must be implemented and monitored throughout the activity.

2. All overhead power-lines no longer in use that represent an unacceptable level of risk should be de-energised and removed.

A recognised 'go-line' should be established for plant that is ready for operators to use.


Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI)


Here are the results.


Reference Type:

Significant Incident Report #44

Mine Type:

Surface Mine







Australia, Queensland

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