Electrical shock incidents prompt safety warning


Photo: safetyCulture Library

Electrical Safety Office Queensland is issuing a warning to everyone following two recent events where electrical shocks were ignored.

Head of ESO, Victoria Thomson, said all electric shocks should be reported to your electricity entity or licensed electrical contractor immediately.

“The golden rule is – you won’t receive an electric shock from your equipment, appliances, products or property if everything is functioning correctly,” Ms. Thomson said.

“So don’t ignore the warnings – electricity can kill and receiving an electric tingle from taps or other objects can indicate something is wrong with your electrical system or a problem is developing.

“In some instances, the shock could be from a fault on a neighbouring property or electrical installation.

“Having an electrician determine the cause is the only way to ensure you and your loved ones are electrically safe.”

This doesn’t just apply at home, but also in the workplace. Report all shocks to your employer immediately.

“If you receive an electric shock, you should never touch the item again. Not even to check if it really was a shock,” Ms. Thomson said.

“Always switch the power off where it’s safe to do so and stop others accessing the area until it is tested and confirmed safe.

“You need to be mindful of any metallic objects that may also be live until help arrives. This may include your switchboard enclosure, sink, water pipes or roof.”

“Regardless of how minor you might feel the shock was, it’s best to get medical attention.

“Receiving an electric shock can affect your body and you may be unaware of the damage until it is too late.

“Medical staff are familiar with these issues and will carry out tests before giving you the all clear,” Ms. Thomson said.

To minimise the chances of getting an electric shock and ensure your property is electrically safe, Electrical Safety Office Queensland offers the following safety tips :

  • Protect your property by safety switches (make sure your safety switches are tested every three months).
  • Use licensed electrical contractors for all electrical work, including “plug in” items.
  • Make sure there is no damage to power points or switches at your property.
  • Repair faulty electrical equipment straight away.
  •  Ensure power is off before entering ceiling spaces.
  • Electrical equipment should only be purchased from a reputable supplier, follow all manufactures instructions, and do regular maintenance checks.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in wet areas or near pools.
  • Ensure your solar power system is checked every year.
  • Look up and live – be aware of overhead power lines, especially when using ladders.
  • Check for concealed cables before drilling into walls.
  • Be extra careful when digging near underground wiring – dial before you dig.
  • See if an electrician has checked the condition of power poles on your property in the last five years.

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