Electrical Incidents and Prosecutions (August 2022)

Electrical incidents and prosecutions we were made aware of since our last newsletter are summarised below.

The incidents that caused only an electric shock could easily have resulted in an electrocution(s).

NZ – Neutral transposition at mains box caused the installation earthing to be ‘live’ and current to flow between a vent pipe and the iron roof. This resulted in arcing and a fire in the roof causing significant damage. Live polarity tests identified the problem but too late to stop the damage and danger presented by the reverse polarity.
NZ – A reverse polarity resulted in the a storage shed on a neighbouring school property and fence becoming ‘live’. Again, ‘live’ polarity tests were carried out that identified the issue.
NZ – Prosecutions over recent months included three separate prosecutions for performing unauthorised prescribed electrical work, and one prosecution for a person holding out as registered or licensed in respect of prescribed electrical work.
QLD – Six licence holders received disciplinary action in July. The first for failing to adequately supervise and lock out/tag out. The second for failing to complete mandatory testing and a missing MEN link resulting in an electric shock. The third for failing to complete testing and an open circuit neutral that caused an electric shock. The fourth was also for an open circuit neutral resulting in an electric shock. The fifth around failure to adequately isolate, lock out/tag out resulting in an electric shock. The sixth was failing to prevent de-energised equipment from being inadvertently being re-energised resulting in an electric shock.
QLD – fall from a ladder resulted in significant injuries.
USA – Three electrician, working on a Iowa substation that supplied a Google data centre, sustained burn injuries when an arc flash incident occurred.
USA – North Caroline’s Charlotte Douglas International Airport – construction worker electrocuted at a construction site at the airport.
VIC – Crane truck struck overhead lines resulting in a worker being seriously injured. The matter was to go to court in June.
VIC – Excavator struck underground high voltage cabling resulting in a fire at a Shepparton school. The damaged cabling pulled a kiosk transformer that started the fire – no one was hurt.
WA – Wanneroo electrician fined $7,500 after incorrectly installing a window shutter power cord that caused another tradie to receive an electric shock.

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