Queenslanders Reminded to Prioritise Electrical Safety

Following a number of incidents involving live power lines, including overhead, underground and fallen lines, Ergon Energy and Energex have launched an electrical safety campaign throughout Queensland.

The aim of the campaign titled “Take Care, Stay Line Aware”, is to remind Queenslanders to be aware of power-lines and not become complacent around them because of familiarity.

Any contact with a live power-line can be serious, causing severe injury and even death so whether you’re at work, at home doing maintenance or driving a vehicle or operating machinery, we must be aware of the risks of power-lines and stay well clear of them.

A spokesman for the campaign said the aim of the campaign was to return public attention to power-lines and other electricity infrastructure.

See more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/09/new-campaign-urges-queenslanders-prioritise-electrical-safety/#.W40UQLglE1k

Beware when Working on Live Circuits/Switchboards – WorkSafe Warns

Source: Pixabay.com

WorkSafe Victoria is urging business owners, contractors and workers to be cautious when working on live switchboards or circuits. The warning comes as the safety regulator focuses on a month of electrical safety.

The regulator is also stressing the importance of ensuring the adequate training and supervision of apprentices.

WorkSafe Acting Executive Health and Safety, Paul Fowler said electricans were often under pressure from clients to get the job done quickly and to work with live electricity in order to avoid disruption to trade and production. Clients often don’t recognise the risks, so electrical employers and contractors must look for alternatives, such as scheduling work when the power supply can be shut down without affecting business.

He went on to say that the electricity should always be isolated and tested before work begins, regardless of the task.

Lives shouldn’t be put at risk to save time or inconvenience. Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/06/worksafe-victoria-warns-dangers-working-live-switchboards-circuits/#.Wz_fASAlE1l

EnergySafety Warns About Roof Space Dangers

Source: Pixabay.com

A safety reminder has been issued by EnergySafety highlighting the hazards of working in roof spaces and how to avoid them.

Ken Bowron, Director of Energy Safety said basic safeguards need to be in place when accessing the home’s roof space.

He also reminded people to turn off the electricity main switchboard before entering the roof space.  People were also warned to be aware of any damaging insulation or exposed live parts that may present a risk of electric shock and possible electrocution.

When entering the roof space, the use of battery-powered LED lamps are a good idea and will provide the lighting you need to move around safety up there.

EnergySafety reminded people that DIY electrical work is illegal, a licensed electrical contractor must be called in to carry out new wiring work or alterations and maintenance on existing electrical installations. Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/12/energysafety-warns-dangers-roof-spaces/#.Wk7s7zclE1k

Be Cautious Around Electricity This Winter

Essential Energy is reminding its customers to make electrical safety a top priority during the cooler, winter months paying particular attention to appliances like heaters and electric blankets that may have been in storage for a while.

Make sure you inspect appliances before use and clean them.

It’s also important to check appliances for loose connections, frayed cords and any exposed wires which may be a hazard.

According to Fire and Rescue NSW over 40 per cent of all fire fatalities occur in winter, and by simply checking appliances and be cautious with electrical appliances like heaters, you can avoid serious incidents.

Find out more http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/05/essential-energy-reminds-customers-make-electrical-safety-priority-winter/#.WSvyeMYlEl0

Workers Reminded About Electrical Safety

World Day for Safety and Health at Work and Workers’ Memorial Day took place recently on Friday 28 April.

The day is used to remember workplace safety and those who were injured or killed on the job.

This year the day coincided with Safe Work Australia’s World Day for Health and Safety at work, which Essential Energy used to encourage workers to consider electrical safety.

The groups General Manager Safety, HR, and Environment, David Nardi mentioned that tradies and construction workers should be mindful of potential electrical hazards on the building site but people who work in offices and other environments need to also consider their risks.

Mr Nardi explained,

“All workers should assess the potential risk of working close to an electrical hazard and put in place appropriate controls to prevent incidents occurring,” David said.

“Consider the location of equipment relative to underground and overhead powerlines and keep plant, equipment and temporary structures such as scaffolding well clear of the electricity network.”

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/workers-urged-make-electrical-safety-priority/#.WRN0zsaxUl1

Essential Energy highlighted the number of power outages that have been caused across it’s footprint over the past few months resulting from incidents such as farming machinery making contact with power lines, burning or igniting of power poles, tree lopping causing vegetation to fall on service lines and vehicle crashes.

The company recommended on-site safety inductions to identify the location of potential electrical hazards in all work environments. In the construction industry, white card training which is mandatory for all workers only covers electrical safety in brief, more detailed site-specific training is necessary.

Essential Energy also advised companies to appoint a competent safety observer to worksites to monitor work teams and guide machinery near overhead power lines.

“If you are excavating, register your works with the free Dial before you dig referral service at www.1100.com.au to identify the location of underground utility assets before beginning work.

“In many cases, unplanned outages due to workplace incidents are avoidable and an unnecessary public safety risk. Not only are they dangerous, but they are expensive and inconvenient for all affected.

“Let’s make safety a priority every day so everyone can get home safely to their family and loved ones.”

Read more at http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/04/workers-urged-make-electrical-safety-priority/#.WRN0zsaxUl1

More information about electrical safety in the workplace can be obtained from www.essentialenergy.com.au/safety or call  13 23 91.

Electrician Suffers Burn Injuries, Employer Fined

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An electrician has suffered burn injuries and his employer fined $60,000 following an arc flash incident at Atlas Iron’s Wodgina iron ore project in Pilbara.

The incident took place in November 2013 but the company was found guilty in July this year of exposing an employee to a hazard and was fined $60,000.

The electrician was replacing components within a switch room at the Pilbara mine when the incident occurred.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum Mines Safety Director and State Mining Engineer Andrew Chaplyn highlighted that the employer failed to ensure proper maintenance of electrical equipment at the mine. 

The worker was exposed to live electrical conductors because electrical equipment did not have a barrier preventing contact with live terminals, causing burn injuries.  Source:http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/07/company-fined-electricians-burn-injuries/#.V7mdHvl97IV

Do Not Illegally Disconnect Electricity Supply Before Renovations or Demolitions, Tradies Warned

electrical supply

Tradespeople have been warned not to illegally disconnect electricity supply before renovations or demolitions as this is a practice that endangers not only workers but members of the public.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland have urged contractors and tradies not to evade the Energex or Ergon Energy supply abolishment processes before demolition or renovation work to avoid any incidents from occuring.

In the recent past there have been a number of incidents which endangered the public and workers where live electrical cables owned and operated by Energex or Ergon Energy were tampered with and then left exposed, a risk to anyone who comes around it.

The authorities are reminding tradies that to avoid serious electrical incidents or fatalities, the correct process must be coordinated in advance through the retailer with Energex or Ergon Energy.

Go to http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/index.php/07/queensland-safety-watchdog-warns-interference-electricity-distribution-network/#.V7mdYvl97IV for more.

Who is Enforcing Electrical Safety in Homes?

electrical hazaRDS
Source: Iol.co.za

A recent post on Sourceable.net highlighted the high number of electrical defects that are left unfixed upon the transfer of sale of a home.  This is particularly concerning when you consider that according to the Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES), more than 50 people across the country die every year because of home fires and many more people are injured.

The writer of the post highlights the importance of checks for RCD and smoke alarm compliance, downlight compliance and exposed cabling, as these checks can be life saving. The writer also explains that these checks should be compulsory. Read more here.

Simple Steps towards Electrical Safety

elec risk
Source: www.ictlounge.com

Although electrical safety on a construction site is a complex issue that cannot be covered in just one post, here are some basic tips to achieve electrical safety for construction workers,

  • Read instructions, labels, installation manuals etc. before installing, operating or servicing equipment.
  • Ensure switchboards are correctly designed, mounted securely and are constructed from materials able to withstand mechanical damage
  • Equipment should be tested and tagged by a qualified person
  • Faulty equipment must be removed and tagged
  • Keep an eye out for overheating in machines
  • Use tools with insulated hand grips
  • Earth all equipment properly
  • Examine power cords and leads before use
  • Ensure power is turned off before removing a plug from the power point

Read about the Queensland government’s warning following a Construction site electrocution inquiry here.