Harmony Operations Australia, a feedlot in the Wimmera mallee region, Victoria.

Incident Type

Fatal electrocution of a worker operating a telehandler near overhead power lines.

Date of Incident

November 2020.

Penalty Imposed

$140,000 fine for failing to maintain a safe work environment and provide necessary safety training.

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Harmony Operations Australia, a Victorian feedlot operator, has been fined $140,000 following the electrocution death of a worker in November 2020 at a farm in the Wimmera mallee region.

Details of the Incident

The incident involved a 29-year-old worker who was electrocuted while operating a telehandler to stack hay bales. The accident occurred at the Gerang Gerung property when the telehandler contacted overhead power lines, leading to a fatal electric shock.

Operational Context

WorkSafe Victoria’s investigation revealed that while workers at Harmony Operations Australia were required to read the company’s safe work procedure for using telehandlers, the training did not adequately address the risks associated with overhead power lines.

Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims

Harmony Operations Australia pleaded guilty in Horsham Magistrates’ Court to charges of failing to provide a safe working environment and necessary training for safe work. The court emphasized that a 3m exclusion zone around the power line should have been established, and employees should have been informed about the risks in the area.

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