Thou Shalt Not Fuck Around With A Powerline

Repeat after me – Thou shalt not fuck around with a powerline unless qualified to do so.

I’d seen the construction workers next door while we were living in Sydney do stupid shit on various occasions lift unsecured loads with the crane, pretend they were going to throw one of their friends off the roof etc. Fortunately for the workers, the time they broke the above commandment they didn’t manage to electrocute themselves. Unfortunately for workers, this time I filmed their shenanigans.

(you can hear my whiny voice towards the start and watch a few minutes of poor OH&S choices if you so wish, but the true magic starts a little after 5:40 where I’ve started it. Wait for it!).

I’m not certain that the guy on the ground in the video knew I was filming, but when I brought up the possible damage to the powerline with him as I was walking past, he kindly told me “piss off and look after your children!”. Realizing he was right, I quietly bowed my head and took my children home to care for them as is my role in life.

Kidding! I put the video on Youtube, sent the link to Workcover NSW (the organization that administers New South Wales workplace health and safety law), and the site was evacuated and inspected a few days later, with the boss shown the Youtube video in all its glory by the Workcover inspector. This all went down very shortly before I was due to leave for the US, which was fortunate because being glared at through formwork by builders who now hated my guts was starting to wear on me.

Ah, memories!

(Wow…..this video makes Sydney look dodgy as. Here’s some pics from a past walk around Watson’s bay to make up for it. It’s a lovely place, mostly non-dodgy place, I promise!)

Lovely Sydney photo to make up for powerline story



Lovely Sydney photo to make up for powerline story

Who’s a lovely city, then?

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I am an Aussie currently enjoying my time as a non-resident legal alien in the US. You can find me on Facebook and I have also just started lurking around Twitter and  Instagram. Come lurk with me!



  1. Omg. I watched the whole thing going between “these buttholes are going to die” and “I hope one of these buttholes dies” and then realized (spoiler) that one actually dying might violate YouTube’s community standards, so they’d have removed it.

    It’s the same reason that “Rescue! 911!” only punked us for one season making us wonder up through last commercial break if the victim was going to make it.

    Very non-dodgy, otherwise.

  2. Dale

    I remember that! I’d like to say those were just crazy but I am pretty sure it was just run of the mill stupidity. That cable fed the entire unit complex. That guy hanging off the container was second from death but I am pretty sure he didn’t know it.

    Still, safety wise, Australia takes it to a new level compared to the US. People here must have trouble comprehending how regulated Aus is.

  3. Wow! That is crazy! We have our fair share of idiots here in the U.S. Some of the equipment I work on for the Navy has to be craned on/off the ships. I’ve seen my fair share of crane accidents. Unfortunately, one of those resulted in two deaths.

    • It’s a piece of equipment where a small mistake could be very costly, and these guys during the time I saw them working were not exactly responsible. I wouldn’t let my daughter play in the yard if they were using the crane near the fence as I didn’t trust them not to drop a load over and on to us. That must have been an awful thing to witness.

  4. The first time I watched the video I only noticed the bucket stuck on the power line but the second time I noticed the worker off to the left holding onto it. He’s lucky he wasn’t electrocuted.
    It’s also lucky they didn’t knock out power for the whole block.
    Anyway every city has its dodgy elements, even one as nice as Sydney.
    And I hope you enjoyed your time in the US.

    • Still enjoying it! Although starting to feel panicky as the date we leave moves closer… much I want to see!

      I don’t think those guys knew how close they were to death. Maybe they think electrocution will be like it is in cartoons, the worst that will happen to you is your hair will stick out and you’ll be covered in sooty stuff

  5. I am glad that dude reminded you of your place in life. The only safety you should be worried about is cutting your kid’s grapes in quarters to avoid choking. Kidding. Obviously.

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