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Energy Worker Killed By Snakebite

Craig Adams - Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The below article was taken from the ABC News website @ and was poted by Paul Robinson on Thu Nov 8, 2012 12:58pm AEDT

An Ergon Energy worker who was found dead in central Queensland last week was killed by a bite from a taipan.

Searchers found the body of 57-year-old Andrew Vaughan after he disappeared while checking powerlines last Thursday near Yeppoon, north of Rockhampton.

Ergon says an autopsy has identified a bite from a taipan as the cause of death.

Ergon Energy spokesman Peter Billing says Mr Vaughan had been checking power poles.

"Andrew was working with another workmate and a contract backhoe operator clearing a track to get access to a pole for maintenance work to be carried out at a later time," he said.

"At some stage during those activities Andrew had been bitten by the snake."

Mr Billing says colleagues were in the area but were unaware of what had happened.

"The area they were working in, while it's only perhaps a kilometre off the road, is quite dense," he said.

"There's a lot of lantana and so on.

"Andrew had gone in to that area to find where the track would go to so they could continue the backhoe in.

"At some point in time while he was short distance away from both the backhoe and our other crew member that the incident happened."

Mr Billing from Ergon says risk assessments are carried out for work in the bush.

"We identify snakes and other potentially dangerous animals as part of our working environment," he said.

"Our people live in these communities so they are aware of snakes both in their personal life and their work life.

"There had been a risk management process conducted before the work started and snakes are clearly identified as one of the key risks."

About the Author - Craig Adams

Craig is a venomous snake expert and former Operations Manager for the Australian Reptile Park. With his wife Jackie, Craig has travelled to remote areas of Australia in search of venomous snakes and spiders for inclusion in the Reptile Park's venom collection program for scientific purposes and for the collection of new data on endangered species. Craig has featured in numerous National Geographic and Discovery Channel programs on the world's most venomous creatures. He worked alongside Steve Irwin as a consultant on his film "Oceans' Deadliest" and continues to work periodically with Steve's best friend John Stainton in an advisory and "to camera" role. Together with Jackie, he has also starred in numerous other television, print media and documentary films and is acknowledged by his peers as the "go to" person in this field.

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