A recent incident involving a second year apprentice plumber is the focus of an ESV Safety Alert that has gone out to both electrical workers and gas fitters.
The incident involves a second year apprentice plumber who was making repairs to the roof of an awning and made contact with an exposed electrical cable. The apprentice received an electric shock and was taken to hospital.
He is very lucky to have survived and has since made a full recovery. The cable was alive at 230 volts.
It is fairly common for power companies to mount low voltage aerial bundled cables to the facia of buildings above awnings. This is the location where the apprentice was working when the incident occurred.
These cables are exposed to the elements and the cable insulation can easily deteriorate to the point where live wires are exposed.
A few simple safety steps and the apprentice could have identified the risk and not been injured.
The Safety Alert shows both the scene of the incident and outlines practical safety measures to make sure this doesn’t happen to you or an apprentice under supervision.
Had the apprentice observed the exclusion zone for working near electricity cabling and taken the appropriate steps outlined in the Safety Alert, then the risk would have been avoided.
This is an opportunity to remind everyone to stay clear of electrical cables. Regardless of the work you are there to do, make sure you inspect the area for risks thoroughly, including electrical cables, before you to start the job. It’s dangerous to look as you go. Take a step back and make time to check for safety risks.