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Electrocuted and severely burnt

Electrocuted and severely burnt

Workers have been electrocuted, shocked and severely burnt in New South Wales.

Two workers were electrocuted and 14 received electric shocks between August 2012 and August 2013.

WorkCover NSW General Manager of Work Health and Safety Division John Watson said “businesses need to take precautions and always use a licensed electrician for all electrical installation work”.

This includes de-energising before starting work and ensuring “workers, equipment, material and plant remain at safe distances from overhead and underground electric lines”.

In one of the incidents, “a worker was installing air-conditioning at a petrol station when the wiring he was working with was still energised and he received an electric shock. Tragically, he passed away in hospital”, said Watson.

In another incident, a truck driver and a crane operator were unloading housing trusses when the crane touched 11,000 volt overhead powerlines.

Watson said the shock threw the crane operator from the controls. The truck driver was also shocked when he attempted to take control of the crane and became stuck to the electrified controls.

The crane operator recovered from his initial shock but was shocked again when he tried to pull the truck driver off the controls. Nevertheless, he recovered again and used a crane sling as a lasso to drag the driver off the controls.

Watson said the crane operator then suffered a heart attack, but he was resuscitated; he also sustained severe electrical burns and part of his left foot had to be amputated.

The truck driver was also burnt.

WorkCover successfully prosecuted the company – which was fined $65,000 for breaching the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2000.

For more details, visit WorkCover NSW.

Published on 30 January 2014 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.

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