Worker's electric shock delays NBN rollout

Worker's electric shock delays NBN rollout

Construction stopped and hundreds lectured after worker shocked by electrified pole

The National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout in Tasmania was hit with a shocking set back last month when a worker was electrocuted by a power pole with a leaking insulator.

Five other incidents, including one where an unsecured cable drum created a roll risk, forced work to a halt on the site by the end of March. Refresh safety training was implemented after a safety audit and work has recommenced.

While the NBN Co admitted the electrocution event was potentially serious, it played down the incident, describing it as a “tingle” felt by a worker. No correct voltage check had been performed and no gloves were worn.

Revelation of the various safety breaches come days after the Federal Government’s embattled insulation scheme was all but scrapped following the death of four workers. Unions and trade bodies have blamed the scheme’s allowance of foil insulation and barely trained workers for the fatalities and more than 120 house fires.

“There have been no further incidents reported since work resumed,” NBN Co CEO, Mike Quigley, said in a speech to engineers in Sydney this week. “NBN Tasmania and Aurora have been active in identifying and addressing safety issues as they have arisen.

“The way this was handled in Tasmania sends a clear message to all who want to work with NBN Co.”

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Tags National Broadband Network (NBN)Mike QuigleyAurora

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