EnergySafe Magazine Summer 2018/19, issue 52 - Page 17

esv.vic.gov.au By Worksafe Victoria Company fined $300,000 after apprentice electrocuted Heat map indicating the density of inspections in Victoria, July 2018. Blue/green indicates few inspections Yellow/red indicates a large amount of inspections A Melbourne electrical company has been convicted and fined $300,000 after an unsupervised, third-year apprentice electrician died from electrocution while laying cables at a Camberwell property. 3 Point Electrics Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to two charges under section 21 of the OHS Act for failing to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that the workplace was safe and without risk to health, and for failing to provide the supervision as was necessary for employees to perform their work safely and without risk to health. The company was also ordered to pay $6,067 in costs. Across Victoria and in particular Melbourne, the distribution of inspections varies. The greatest concentration is in Melbourne’s North and East. The chart below identifies 15 of the most common places our GSOs visit. Suburb/town The court heard how the 26-year-old apprentice was sent to the property alone to install cables in preparation for a new smoke alarm in August 2016. He was working on the roof when his hand contacted an exposed live wire, electrocuting him. Complex Inspections Type B Inspections Total Inspections Melbourne 27 27 South Yarra 12 12 East Melbourne 11 11 Robinvale 8 Campbellfield 7 8 Eildon 8 Dandenong South 1 Carlton 7 Reservoir 2 Glen Waverley 6 6 Southbank 6 6 Box Hill 5 1 6 Brooklyn 4 1 5 Shepparton 4 1 5 Kew 3 2 5 1 8 8 6 7 7 4 Inspections by suburb, July 2018. Based on July 2018’s figures, a yearly estimate of total distance travelled by GSOs to inspect complex gas installations is in excess of half a million kilometres. 6 A firefighter who attended the scene found that all the circuit-breakers on the switchboard were in the 'on position'. WorkSafe’s investigation also found the company failed to prepare a Safe Work Method Statement for the work. WorkSafe Head of Hazardous Industries and Industry Practice, Michael Coffey, said it was unacceptable for apprentice electricians to undertake electrical work without being effectively supervised by qualified electricians. "Mature-aged apprentices are becoming more common so employers need to remember that age does not necessarily relate to experience or competency." "It is vital all inexperienced workers are effectively supervised, trained to perform their tasks safely, and encouraged to speak up or ask questions if they are unsure about something," Mr Coffey said. "This is a tragic reminder of what can happen when electrical circuits are not isolated as they should be." 17