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Farmer electrocuted after sprayer hits powerlines

If you’re operating machinery that comes in contact with powerlines, stay in the vehicle and call for help. If you must exit, jump as far as you can and never touch the vehicle and ground at the same. Photo by Ray Sizer

A farmer was airlifted to hospital after the agricultural sprayer he was operating made contact with overhead high-voltage powerlines.

The farmer, 67, suffered burns to his foot in the incident, which happened at Kinypanial, near Serpentine, about 5pm on Monday, May 9.

The experienced farmer received a severe electric shock after he jumped out of the sprayer cab and on to the ground.

If your machinery hits powerlines, you should stay inside the vehicle and call for help.

If you absolutely need to exit, jump clear from the vehicle, keep your legs and feet close together and land on both feet.

Once you land, shuffle with both feet close together to a distance more than 10 metres away.

Never touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.

Energy Safe Victoria is investigating the incident and urging Victorians to look up and be aware of their surroundings.

ESV commissioner Marnie Williams said she hoped the farmer made a full recovery.

“It’s so easy to forget that the simple act of looking up before you start work could save your life or the life of a co-worker,” Ms Williams said.

ESV reminds machinery operators that overhead powerlines can be more difficult to see at dusk and dawn, especially in rural areas where the lines are predominantly single conductor lines.