Beware when Working on Live Circuits/Switchboards – WorkSafe Warns


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

Injury Hotspots Broken Down by Industry and Job

Have you ever wondered what the most common injuries sustained in your industry and specific job are?

WorkSafe Victoria has a useful and informative tool which allows you to find out information about the most common injuries for your job, giving you a sector specific view of harm.

For example construction carpenters face 6 common hazards – manual handling of construction materials, noise, slips,trips and falls, using hand tools, working at ground/floor level, working overhead or above shoulders.

These hazards commonly result in hand/finger injuries, back injuries, shoulder, knee, leg, ear and wrist/forearm injuries, these are called ‘injury hotspots’. The WorkSafe resource provides more advice on avoiding these injury hotspots.

For the construction industry there is also injury hotspot information for concreters, electricians, heating/airconditioning installation, labourers, painters, plasterers, plumbers and roofers.

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Booming Construction Sector Raises Trades Rates

The construction boom has led to rises in tradies’ rates with some commanding as much as $91.21 per hour.

According to The Tradie Price Index, a list compiled by, Victorian plumbers are the most expensive tradies, with their rate rising by 21 per cent from last year.

Western Australia’s plumbers and electricians come in second and third places, demanding $89.91 and $89.58 per hour respectively. Although these rates are high, they are relatively similar to the previous year whereas tilers in Brisbane experienced a 65 per cent rise in their hourly rate to $62.18.

Tilers in South Australia experienced the greatest drop(30 per cent) to $37 per hour.

The index revealed that the national average for all service types is down this year by 3.4 per cent.

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