Community & Business

19 June, 2022

Electrical safety front and centre

TABLELAND locals have been warned about the dangers of electricity as part of a recent push by the Electrical Safety Office to drive awareness about the silent and invisible killer.

Electrical safety front and centre - feature photo

Two community engagement sessions were held in Atherton and Mareeba, providing locals with the opportunity to learn more about electricity, its dangers, and how to better protect themselves from serious injury or potential death. 

Electrical accidents can occur inside the household with exposed wiring and eroded cords or on the farm, with potential contact to overhead powerlines. 

Electrical Safety Office executive director Donna Heelan said the Tablelands was one of the leading regions for overhead powerline contacts, mainly due to the concentrated farming industry. 

“We are on the Tablelands bringing the message of electrical safety at homes, schools, communities and workplaces,” she said. 

“The other important thing is contact with overhead powerlines, this region is right up there and leading the way with contact with overhead lines which damages plant and equipment but can also create serious injuries, burns and fatalities.” 

Millaa Millaa local and electrical safety advocate Dan Kennedy spoke about the terrible loss of his son, Dale, in an electrical accident in 2012. 

The 20-year-old apprentice was conducting work inside a Cairns school ceiling with the power was still on, as enforced by the school. 

Dale tragically lost his life and now his father travels the country to give talks and inform others around the dangers of electricity. 

“There were no safety switches to the circuit that he came into contact with in the ceiling, at the time of Dale’s death only 90 per cent of schools in Queensland had safety switches because they were older schools,” Mr Kennedy said. 

“It is not mandatory to turn the power off before an electrician goes into the ceiling but now in the schools, it is mandatory. 

“Dale asked if he could turn the power off for 10 minutes to run the cable, they said ‘no’ – for a lousy 10 minutes, it cost him his life.”


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