“Tragically a 35-year-old man was killed in Earlwood last year when he handled energised wires while completing work on an electrical circuit beneath a house. A 24-year-old man also recently suffered serious burns when he touched a live electrical circuit and caused an arc flash explosion at a construction site in Sydney’s north-west,” Mann said.
According to Mann, five additional penalties for things such as failing to conduct a risk assessment or follow overhead/underground powerline controls have recently been introduced. These breaches attract on-the-spot fines of up to $3600 for businesses and $720 for individuals. Mann said that onsite electrical work should only ever be conducted by a licensed person; if they are young or inexperienced, they always need to be supervised.
“Electric shock is the second leading cause of death in the construction industry. During these compliance visits we will be taking a zero-tolerance approach toward anyone not adequately protecting themselves or others against electrical risks at their workplace,” Mann said.
Business owners, machinery operators and others working near powerlines are advised to use the Look up and Live application and Before You Dig Australia tools to check the location of infrastructure assets and powerlines. Further information about electrical safety can be found here.