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Date PostedAugust 5, 2013

Worker Electrocuted while at Work

Electrocution is still one of the most common occurrences on construction sites and the risks associated with electrocution are heightened when they occur from a height.

Sadly yet another worker has died after being electrocuted at a work site in Victoria. The 25 year old worker was from Eudlo on the Sunshine Coast and was working on the roof of an old age home at the time of the accident.

The cause of death was an electric shock which happened on Thursday afternoon. Bystanders attempted to perform CPR on the worker until emergency services personnel arrived, however it was in vain. The young worker was unconscious and not breathing when the ambulance arrived and was taken to hospital where he died shortly after.

Although tragic this incident is a wake-up call to the construction sector about the danger of electrical shocks on construction sites which principal contractors and those undertaking a business need to guard against.

The following post from BaysideBulletin.com.au explains further,

The 25-year-old man, from Eudlo on the Sunshine Coast, is believed to have been working on the roof of the Adventist Aged Care Victoria Point Retirement Village at Clay Gully Road on Thursday afternoon when he suffered an electric shock.

Bystanders performed CPR on the man until fire and ambulance crews arrived after 5.15pm.

The man was unconscious and not breathing when emergency services arrived, but paramedics continued to administer CPR.

He was transported to Princess Alexandra Hospital in a critical condition, but was declared dead shortly after arriving.

A police spokesman said the death was not being treated as suspicious, but the coroner will conduct an investigation into the incident.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland have also been called in to investigate the death.

Source: http://www.baysidebulletin.com.au/story/1638251/man-dies-in-workplace-accident/?cs=12

According to statistics more workers are electrocuted each year during renovation and refurbishment work on buildings than many other construction site hazards, yet many employers and workers fail to realise the danger that this hazards presents.

A number of deaths also occur due to contact with overhead power lines and underground electric cables. These hazards need to be anticipated beforehand and actively managed or controlled if they cannot be eliminated completely.

Another common cause of electrical incidents is when people are working on or close to equipment that is either assumed to be dead but is in fact live or known to be live but adequate precautions are not taken.

Also one of the reasons electrical hazards are so dangerous is because unlike most other hazards workers cannot see, feel, hear or smell electricity beforehand so there is little if any advanced warning of danger.

Another important point this incident raises is the need to ensure that all workers are aware of the hazards and the control measures implemented in order to overcome them. This entails providing workers with all the necessary training and supervision on a building site. It also involves listening to workers and communicating with them about workplace health and safety issues on a regular basis.


Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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