An investigation was conducted following the incident and it was found that the company was aware of the risk of keeping the top conductors energised while workers remove the bottom conductors, but it still kept it energised for service delivery reasons.
The company was charged for breaching work health and safety laws after it failed to ensure the health and safety of workers.
“Every worker should return home to their family at the end of the working day and this outcome demonstrates that businesses must make the safety and wellbeing of workers their number one priority,” said SafeWork NSW Executive Director, Peter Dunphy.
The company had taken several steps to address electrical safety after the incident. It issued a safety alert prohibiting the practice that led to the incident. This prohibition has been adopted by other electricity distributors in the state.
The company also established a Safety Review Working Group, installed defibrillators at 178 worksites across NSW and provided financial assistance to the victim’s family and local community.
Mr. Dunphy acknowledged the company’s efforts in addressing the problem but said that the victim’s family has lost their loved one due to an incident that could have been prevented.
Source: SafeWork NSW