Workplace safety should always be high on the agenda for Australian businesses, but according to a recent statement, many are lacking in this key area.
In June, SafeWork South Australia released worrying statistics around people receiving electric shocks at work. There were over 300 incident notifications in the 2014-15 financial year, compared to 284 the year before.
SafeWork South Australia explained that these incidents were commonly the result of damaged switches, operation of electrical appliances in or near water and frayed cords. Acting Executive Director Marie Boland noted that if workplaces didn't already have safety switches or residual current devices installed, businesses would be dealing with much more serious incidents.
As such, the authority is calling businesses to only use licensed electricians for any work. Not only is it unsafe to conduct unlicensed work, it's illegal for your team to undertake their own electrical tasks.
Electrocution death in Mackay
There is no doubt that electricity can be a hazard no matter where your business is located or which industry you operate in. However, when you have employees working around this danger constantly, mistakes can occur and lives can be lost.
There is no doubt that electricity can be a hazard no matter where your business is located or which industry you operate in.
This was the case in Mackay, Queensland in late April when a 26-year-old electrician was electrocuted at a workshop. The Daily Mercury reported that the man was testing step up transformers which can reach 1,000 volts. Police explained that the transformer was only at 415 volts when the fatal shock was received.
Paramedics worked on the man for around an hour, but he was pronounced deceased at the workshop scene. At the time, the workshop was closed for authority investigations to determine why the incident happened and whether there was anything that could have been done to prevent it, according to The Daily Mercury.
According to Safe Work Australia, worker fatalities as a result of electrocution have steadily climbed over the years. In the 2008-09 financial year, there were nine recorded deaths. This rose to 13 in the following year, before reaching 12 in 2010-11.
Electricity is a force that must be respected and part of this respect starts with having the right OHS personnel either on site or within the business setting. As well as embedding safe practices in your team, these individuals are trained to identify and manage risks in the workplace.
Design & Construct have a wide talent pool of OHS managers and are more than happy to talk to you about recruitment in this space. For more information, contact our expert team today.