Near-miss in Hazelwood boiler

Hazelwood power station and a union representing maintenance workers responded to a serious near-miss incident last week after two workers were almost struck with a large scaffolding pole.

Maintenance operations on unit six were reportedly put on hold on Tuesday, after a large scaffolding pole fell more than 15 metres, missing two workers walking along the basement level by metres.

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union’s Toby Thornton said the incident occurred after the scaffold pole, which was momentarily leaning on end on the boiler’s second floor, slipped through a hole on a mezzanine floor.

“One of the boys building the scaffold had leaned the pole against the scaffold, something vibrated the scaffold and the tube went straight through the gridmat – which had been damaged previously but hadn’t allegedly been fixed,” Mr Thornton said.

“We’re treating the incident very seriously, had one of those workers been hit, it would’ve been a serious incident.”

The boiler shut was put on hold as occupational health and safety representatives undertook a boiler walkdown to identify any further potential problems with grid matting.

Maintenance operations resumed Thursday morning.

“We’re happy with how this incident has been responded to,” Mr Thornton said.

The incident comes as the second disruption for the maintenance shut, after maintenance unions and management responded to an asbestos scare last fortnight.