Coroner examines electrocution deaths

A VICTORIAN coroner has called for better safety measures, finding the deaths of three men who were electrocuted when tip trucks came into contact with overhead power lines should not have happened.

Among the electrocution victims was Dallas Anderson from Giffard West.

Mr Anderson, Brian Baker, and John Jones died in separate incidents within the space of less than four months in 2006 when they were electrocuted when tip trucks made contact with power lines.

Mr Anderson, 30, and Mr Baker, 44, both truck drivers, died when their tip trailers made contact with overhead cables while respectively tipping loads of lime and fertiliser at farms.

Mr Anderson died on January 9, 2006, at a farm in Gippsland and Mr Baker died on April 19 of that year at a property near Nhill.

Mr Anderson was working for Calcimo Lime in Sale at the time of his death.

Mr Jones, 51, was electrocuted on his farm, near Myrtleford, on April 28, 2006 while assisting a truck driver tip a load of lime.

Coroner Audrey Jamieson found the three men had all been in contact with the trucks when the tip trailers made contact with overhead power lines, and that their deaths were preventable and avoidable.

In findings handed down in the Coroners Court on March 6, Ms Jamieson recommended WorkSafe and electricity suppliers produce signs that could be erected at farms alerting visitors of the dangers of overhead lines.

She called for the implementation of an educational campaign to target rural and farming communities.

Authorities should also examine whether warning devices could be fitted to tip trucks, the coroner said.

Ms Jamieson also endorsed a plan devised by Mr Anderson’s wife, Alecia, which outlined an accreditation program to ensure farm safety and had farmers determine safe dumping sites on their properties.