Energy giant fined $1.5 million

Photo: File



ENERGY Australia has been fined over the death of Yallourn Power Station worker, Graeme Edwards, in 2018.

The electricity giant pleaded guilty to three offences, resulting in fines totalling $1.5 million.

Mr Edwards, 54, was a unit controller at the Yallourn Power Station, and was very experienced in his field, with around 30 years experience.

Mr Edwards was performing routine maintenance when the short-circuit fault occurred, causing the fatal explosion.

The explosion created high temperatures, igniting the clothes of Mr Edwards, burning 90 per cent of his body.

Mr Edwards died the next day in the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

Three years after Mr Edwards’ death, WorkSafe filed charges against his employer, Energy Australia.

The following investigation discovered the first charge: a panel, which is used to protect operators from the arc flash, was not secured properly.

During the investigation, other inconsistencies were found.

They were the training in regard to the “racking” procedure, compared to the staff manual provided.

The third and final charge was due to the fact Energy Australia failed to provide appropriate personal equipment for operators.

Melbourne County Court Judge, John Carmody, said if the company didn’t plead guilty, they could have faced fines of up to $2.2 million.