Surveyor survives 12,700v shock

A ROCKHAMPTON surveyor was lucky to be alive yesterday after receiving a 12,700-volt shock.

The 35-year-old accidentally touched an overhead power line with a metal pole near Miles, about 430km south of Rockhampton on Saturday morning.

A spokeswoman for Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital said his condition was improving last night.

An RACQ CareFlight spokesman said it was believed the patient had pulled over on the side of Luckies Lane, a rural area, about 30km south-west of Miles.

“He had taken a pole off the roof of his vehicle and it accidentally hit an overhead power line, sending 12,700 volts through him,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the man suffered partial and full thickness burns to about 20% of his body and had at least three exit wounds from the surge of electricity.

RACQ CareFlight airlifted the man to Brisbane in a serious condition on Saturday afternoon.

A Rockhampton electrician, who didn’t wish to be named, yesterday said the surveyor was lucky to be alive.

“It’s a danger zone – there can be arcing without even hitting the wire,” the electrician said.

“With the right current, 150 volts can stop your heart,” he said.

The electrician said the stringent regulations and legislation in place today were helping in reducing tragic electrical accidents, but electrocution was always a big concern in the industry.

Ergon Energy corporate communications manager Bob Pleash said Ergon was assisting a Workplace Health and Safety investigation into the incident.

“Our thoughts are with the man and his family,” Mr Pleash said.

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