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28.11.23    |  

Navigating the Dangers: Ensuring Safety Around Powerlines in New Zealand

The need for greater awareness and targeted training around worker safety when working with powerlines has recently come into sharp focus in New Zealand following a tragic event where a scaffolder lost their arms due to a powerline. This incident serves as a somber reminder of the potential dangers that can arise when working near electrical infrastructure. 

The WorkSafe investigation into the incident highlighted the importance of thorough briefings and comprehensive training for those working on a site with powerlines. It is crucial for workers to be well-informed about the risks associated with powerlines and to understand the necessary safety precautions.  

Recognising the urgency of addressing safety concerns around powerlines, Scaffolding, Access, and Rigging New Zealand (SARNZ) has taken proactive steps by introducing new powerlines training modules aimed at equipping industry professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate safely around electrical infrastructure. 

These training modules serve as a vital resource for workers, ensuring they are well-versed in identifying and mitigating the risks posed by powerlines. Covering essential aspects of safety protocols, the modules emphasise the importance of thorough planning, risk assessment, and adherence to established guidelines when working in proximity to powerlines. 

In a dynamic industry like scaffolding, where workers are often exposed to varying work environments, staying updated on the latest safety measures is paramount. The new powerlines training modules contribute significantly to fostering a culture of safety within the industry. 

As New Zealand continues to grow and thrive in the construction sector, prioritising the safety of workers around powerlines remains non-negotiable. The lessons drawn from incidents such as this should serve as catalysts for continuous improvement in safety practices, ensuring that every worker is equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate their work environment securely. 


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