Friends remember electrocuted MSF worker as ‘jovial fella’
THE Gordonvale man electrocuted on Sunday has been identified as second-generation MSF Sugar employee Brett Quinn.
He is being remembered as hard worker with a fondness for a good joke.
Cairns Canegrowers chair and Mulgrave region cane farmer Stephen Calcagno extended sympathy to Mr Quinn's family.
"It's tragic. On behalf of the growers I offer my condolences to the family. Words can't comfort them but our thoughts are with them," he said.
"Growers are shocked at the events on Sunday. Everybody wants to go to work and come home safe. But it just did not happen.
"He was always a jovial fella."
Cairns Police Inspector Peter Flori said the Mr Quinn was holding onto a piece of track when the arm of the crane clipped overhead lines at Irvin Access Rd.
He said pressure to complete the train line works quickly was not a contributing factor to the workplace accident.
"I don't think any workload or urgency has contributed to this," he said.
Insp Flori said a witness had been interviewed but no further detail had emerged about how the accident happened.
MSF Sugar chief executive officer Mike Barry said the Mulgrave Mill was shut today as a sign of respect.
"We won't restart until tomorrow afternoon to allow time for employees to deal with the situation," he said.
"It's a well-known family in the region and has profound impact on the workforce and the broader community.
Australian Workers' Union Far North district secretary Dave Hearse confirmed union members were involved.
He said there was not enough information available yet to determine whether the accident could have been avoided.
"We are committed to make sure these sort of incidents don't repeat," he said.
A 63-year-old colleague who received an electric shock when rushing to his mate's side was flown for treatment in the burns unit of a Brisbane hospital.
He remains in a serious condition today.
A Workplace Health and Safety spokesman said a joint investigation with the Electrical Safety Office would be launched.