Electrical Incidents and Prosecutions (Feb/Mar/Apr 2022)

  • Brisbane – 25 year old tradie electrocuted while doing electrical work on a home in Brisbane north. It is believed he died in the ceiling space while working on an air conditioner. 
  • Malvern Victoria – arborist electrocuted when contact was most probably made with ‘live’ powerlines via a pole while trimming back a dead tree.
  • Metro Trains Melbourne – Convicted and fined $100,000 after an arc flash incident in 2018. A line worker was installing a steel bracket on an overhead gantry. A 600 volt cable had not been isolated because plans did not show where the ‘live’ electrical assets were located.
  • New Delhi – 11 people were electrocuted when their truck, decorated as a temple chariot, touched an overhead electric power transmission line during a Hindu festival procession and caught fire. Two children were among the dead. The truck was crowded with devotees when the incident occurred. At least 11 other people were injured, some when they fell from the truck.
  • NSW Mine – a boiler maker received an electric shock across his chest from a MIG welder while conducting chassis repairs.
  • NSW Mine – an electrician narrowly missed electrocution after failing to test ‘dead’ before starting work on a pump. The incorrect isolation had been performed. The pump had started without warning.
  • QLD – Spat of underground electrical cable contacts: The Electrical Safety Office has issued a warning to everyone carrying out excavation works to consider the risks before starting work.
  • Roxburgh Park Vic – an electrical fire started in a garage after an electrical plug wasn’t plugged in properly.
  • WA – Spa Quip 800 and 1200 controllers, manufactured or repaired between 2005 and 2008, were recalled after a 50 year old Perth man was electrocuted. He was replacing the pump on his home spa. The plug had been forced into the socket upside down which caused the motor frame to become ‘live’. An RCD was not fitted to the circuit.
  • WA – An electrical worker as fined $32,500 after failing to install an MEN connection and failing to carry out mandatory tests. Luckily the fault was detected by an electrical inspector before anyone was injured or electrocuted, or property was destroyed because the protection equipment failed to operate.
  • WA Bedford – Electrician fined just $2,000 after three family members received electric shocks after touching water taps. The electrician failed to follow kWh meter replacement procedures which required isolation before changing the kWh meter. This left the installation without a neutral while the work was carried out.
  • WA Mandurah – an electrical apprentice received a near fatal electric shock that caused ventricular fibrillation. A hot water system was to be disconnected and removed. The supervisor received a phone call while the 19 year old apprentice started to cut and disconnect the hot water system. The apprentice received a mains voltage shock and was locked on for at least 30 seconds before the supervisor pulled him off and commenced CPR. Paramedics used a defibrillator to revive the apprentice. Isolation of the hot water system had not been performed.
  • WA Nedlands – an electrician was fined $5,000 after replacing the main switchboard and failing to install an MEN connection causing pipes to be energised and one person received an electric shock.

Our sympathies go out to all the family and friends of all the deceased and injured. Their deaths and injuries serve as a reminder that electricity can never be underestimated and our risk assessment must adequately manage the electrical hazard. All electrical work must also be carried out in accordance with standards and the laws.

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