A plumbing company was recently convicted and fined over an incident which resulted in an apprentice being seriously burned when he made contact with live power-lines. The company was the second business to be convicted and fined over the incident.
The company pleaded guilty and was fined $40,000 in the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court and was ordered to pay $9713 in costs after the court heard that the 23 year old apprentice was working alone while installing fascia and guttering from the top level of scaffolding in October 2015.
The young worker sustained substantial burns to his left shoulder, arm and leg when the guttering he was carrying made contact with the 22kv power-lines.
He was hospitalised for 3 months and is still recovering from the injuries sustained.
In light of this incident WorkSafe gave the following advice for safe scaffolding work,
- Comply with ‘no go zone’ requirements where scaffolding is erected, dismantled or in use near overheard powerlines. That includes compliance with ‘Permit to Work’ requirements issued by the power distribution company.
- Make sure to get engineering approval where shade-mesh or hoarding is affixed to scaffolding.
- Supplying design drawings for complex scaffolding
- Employees must be provided with any necessary information, instruction or training for the safe use of scaffolds.