WorkSafe Victoria warns of the dangers of working on live switchboards or circuits

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WorkSafe Victoria urges businesses, contractors and workers to observe safety when working on live switchboards or circuits as the safety regulator focuses on electrical safety this month.

Inspectors are also reminding everyone about the need to ensure apprentices are sufficiently trained and supervised.

“Electricians often report experiencing pressure from business clients who want a job done quickly without affecting production,” WorkSafe Acting Executive Health and Safety Paul Fowler.

“But clients often report experiencing pressure from business clients to work live in order to avoid disruptions to trade or production.

“But clients often don’t fully appreciate the risks so we urge employers and contractors to look for alternatives, such as scheduling works during hours where the power supply can be shut down.”

Mr. Fowler said no matter what the task, the electricity should always be isolated and tested before work commences.

“No one should risk their life or the lives of work mates, for the sake of saving time or inconvenience,” he said.

Energy Safe Victoria Director of Energy Safety Paul Fearon urged all contractors and supervisors to observe their obligations concerning electrical workers, especially apprentice, working live.

“Other than unavoidable testing and commissioning functions, all electrical work should be carried out on de-energised/isolated installations and equipment,” he said.

“Worrying practices in the industry have been identified, such as the willingness of the electrical industry to perform live electrical work. These practices appear to be particularly prevalent in the commercially driven electrical contracting sector.”

More information about this is available on WorkSafe Victoria’s website.

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