Powerline accidents on the increase in WA

Powerline accidents on the increase in WA
Powerline accidents on the increase in WA

TREE trimming incidents accounted for a significant portion of the increase in powerline accidents across WA last year.

More than 20 accidents involving powerlines and people trimming trees were part of a big hike in the number of incidents on the Western Power network – with the total number involving non-employees and contractors rising from 89 in 2014 to 170 last year.

Western Power’s asset management executive manager Seán Mc Goldrick said complacency was often the biggest factor.

“The vast majority of these accidents could have been avoided if people would just take another look, so we are asking before you start work, take another look – don’t risk it, put safety first when working around the network,” he said.

With another 30 reported incidents in February, the utility has stepped up its ‘Take Another Look’ campaign for people working around electricity to do their bit to keep themselves safe.

“That equates to more than an incident a day, and in all of these cases the people involved walked away unscathed but the reality is the end result could have been a lot worse,” Mr Mc Goldrick said.

“This message isn’t just for tradies either as there has also been an increase in the number of homeowners who have made contact with live powerlines, so we are also asking those people to be careful during weekend gardening or do-it-yourself efforts.”

Mr Mc Goldrick hoped that by increasing the awareness of how important it was to be vigilant about safety when working around powerlines and cables that the number of accidents would reduce.