New campaign to reduce risky electrical work

Thursday, 12 November, 2020

New campaign to reduce risky electrical work

Ensuring electricians are operating safely is part of a new NSW Government compliance campaign targeting electrical safety on construction sites.

Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson says SafeWork NSW inspectors will be conducting drop-in inspections across a range of sites for the remainder of 2020, checking that the right controls are in place to manage electrical risks.

“This campaign is part of our mission to eradicate serious and potentially fatal injuries in the industry,” Anderson said.

“Our inspectors will be turning up on sites across the state to make sure all the right measures are in place to protect both the sparkies and those working with them.”

Inspectors will be focusing on ensuring workers maintain appropriate distances from overhead powerlines and are implementing the required safety controls in accordance with the energy provider.

They will also be checking that those doing electrical work are appropriately licensed, that temporary wiring on construction sites meets the correct standards, and that electrical tools such as power tools are managed correctly.

“Electrical work is complex and must always be done by a licensed professional, regardless of the cost and whether the work is residential, commercial or industrial,” Anderson said.

Since 2017 SafeWork NSW has investigated 34 serious electrical incidents, with seven of these being fatalities.

“Three of the primary causes of these incidents were contact with overhead powerlines and unsafe or aged wiring,” Anderson said.

Along with providing education on best practices, inspectors will have the power to issue improvement, prohibition and penalty notices against those doing the wrong thing.

“If you see anything dodgy on site, take a picture and send it directly to SafeWork for follow-up via our app Speak up, Save Lives.”

The project commenced on 9 November and will run until 30 December 2020.

For more information and advice, see SafeWork’s fact sheet on electrical risks in the workplace here.

Image credit: © NIKHOMKHAI

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