25,861 workers were injured seriously enough to make a claim in 2016 – and that’s just in Victoria. At the end of March 2017, WorkSafe Victoria announced its new Construction Safety Focus – inspectors around the state will be paying extra attention to electrical safety. You can make sure your construction site is compliant by familiarising yourself with WorkSafe Victoria’s risk control recommendations as well as investing in test & tag electrical services.
In 2016, two apprentice electricians were fatally injured after suffering electrocution at work. The electrical focus from WorkSafe will hopefully help reduce death and injury on site. Inspectors will do all they can, but the initiative needs to come from individuals. If you are working on a construction site, make sure your environment is safe today. You are responsible for your own safety and the welfare of others.
According to their website, WorkSafe Victoria inspectors are currently visiting construction sites and checking the following areas:
- Are the builders and contractors complying with industry standards and no-go-zone rules?
- Are Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) is use for work near energised equipment, installation, or services?
- Do the Registered Electrical Contractors (RECs) have methods in place that protect electricians from energised installations?
- Are apprentice electricians being supervised?
At Jim’s Test & Tag, we can help you comply with the current industry standards for construction and installation sites. We conduct electrical safety testing according to the AS/NZS 3012:2010 standard for Electrical Installations – Construction
— WorkSafe Victoria (@WorkSafe_Vic) April 6, 2017
Common Electrical Safety Problems
A career in construction can be very rewarding but also very dangerous. Risk can be managed by first being aware of the most frequent electrical issues on construction and electrical installation work sites. The following points highlight common safety mistakes found during the inspection of construction sites:
- Failure to inspect and maintain portable electrical equipment
- Failure to inspect and test Residual Current Devices (RCD or Safety Switch) at the required intervals
- Moving beyond the “no-go-zone” when working near powerlines
- Dangerous live wiring
- Failure to de-energise wiring or equipment
- Failure to inspect or replace damaged leads and power boards
- Ground fault electrical shock
As a part of The Australian work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022, the construction industry has been identified as a priority industry. In an industry profile completed in 2015, it was noted that 15% of deaths in this industry (over a 12-year period) were caused by contact with electricity.
Our technicians use top-of-the-line test and tagging equipment to inspect and maintain your equipment. Ask your local Jim’s Test & Tag team member to visit your work site and assess your portable equipment and RCD units.
Electrical Risk Management
WorkSafe Victoria recommends that you refer to the Industry Standard – Electrical installation on construction sites as a guide for risk management on your work site. For more practical information and advice, take a look at their website. Each state has an equivalent workplace safety regulator – visit your local government website for more resources.
Be proactive with electrical safety – you can get started today. Our electrical testing services can help you pass at least one part of your next inspection with flying colours. With RCD testing and portable equipment testing services, our expert team will make sure your workplace is compliant. We will provide you with a report for each device and a date for your next test. This way, when the inspector does visit, you will have the relevant documentation available to support your risk management efforts.
On-the-spot-finesSource: Safe Work Australia, Work-Related Injuries and Fatalities in Construction Australia, 2003-2013
If your workplace is not compliant, you could receive and infringement notice. This on-the-spot-fine is reserved for smaller offenses that are ‘not serious enough to warrant prosecution’. If there is enough evidence that of a OHS breach, you could be prosecuted. According to the OHS Act, the maximum penalty for corporations in Victoria is $1,365,030. For individuals, it is $273,006.
“Last year, 26 people lost their lives at work, and the youngest was just 21. No worker should ever lose their life simply because they were doing their job.” – WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies
Contact our professional team today to save lives in your workplace. No matter what industry you work in, the message is clear – no one should have to die on the job. Prevent tragedy with routine electrical safety testing today.