A PORTLAND man is lucky to be alive after being hit by a falling three-kilogram piece of tubing at a Macarthur wind farm.
The man, 24, was working on a tower at a height of about 50 metres when he was hit on the head and shoulder by the plastic tubing, which had fallen about 20 metres.
The man, an electrical subcontractor, briefly lost consciousness and suffered spinal injuries.
Paramedics and emergency services were called to the scene at 8.37am and stretchered the man down a ladder.
The man was flown to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne in a stable condition about 11am.
A WorkSafe inspector attended the wind farm yesterday afternoon and was expected to return at a later date for more inquiries.
Leading Senior Constable David Rook, from Macarthur police, said the man’s hard hat probably prevented a fatality.
“This shows the importance of wearing safety equipment. It saved his life,” he said.
He described the initial response from AGL, the wind farm’s owners, as “exceptional”, with the safety of the employee the company’s number one priority. “I also can’t praise the SES and CFA enough for the way everyone worked together,” Leading Senior Constable Rook said.
He said it took time and patience to get the man down the inside of the 50-metre tower.
“It was a bit detailed. It’s not something you can rush though.
“I can’t praise AGL enough — they followed their procedures to the book.”
A spokesman for AGL confirmed yesterday afternoon that the injured worker was in a stable condition and had been flown to The Alfred hospital in Melbourne as a precautionary measure.
“WorkSafe Victoria is currently onsite conducting a full investigation with assistance from AGL’s contractors — Vestas and Leighton Contractors,” he said.
“The Macarthur Wind Farm site crew were briefed at 2pm regarding details of the incident and provided an update about the injured worker.”
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