NT WorkSafe: Safety Reminder - Electrocution Risk for DIY Repairs

Source: NT WorkSafe

NT WorkSafe has issued a safety alert reminding residents carrying out repairs or maintenance in their homes not to carry out electrical work unless they are appropriately licenced.

The alert comes after the tragic death of a Tennant Creek resident who was electrocuted earlier in the month after trying to repair an air conditioning unit.

Executive Director of NT WorkSafe, Mr Stephen Gelding said that the preliminary findings from NT WorkSafe's Electrical Safety Unit showed that the deceased was working on an air conditioning unit which was energised.

"Electricity has the potential to cause serious injury and death, which is the reason why electricians are required to be licensed," Mr Gelding said.

"We hear stories all the time of people doing their own wiring or what they consider to be minor electrical work to save a few dollars instead of calling a licensed electrician."

"But all it takes is one small mistake for a tragedy to occur."

"Next time someone is thinking about doing their own electrical work, they need to stop and ask themselves, how much is their life worth?" Mr Gelding said.

The preliminary findings also showed that the air conditioning unit was plugged into an electrical circuit that wasn't protected by a safety switch. In 1991, the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules required all power circuits installed in domestic dwellings be protected by a safety switch.

Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and detect a problem that may pose a risk to personal safety and turn the power off within 0.03 of a second.

Whilst there isn't a requirement to retrofit safety switches into houses built before 1991, any upgrades to the electrical circuits of domestic dwelling will require a safety switch to be installed.

"If a household can afford it, it is highly recommended that people living in houses built before 1991 have a licence electrician install safety switches in their homes," Mr Gelding said.

NT WorkSafe has an electrical safety unit to provide electrical safety information for domestic and workplace situations. For more information on electrical safety, contact NT WorkSafe on 1800 019 115. Safety Alerts issued by NT WorkSafe can be found at www.worksafe.nt.gov.au

Safety Alert:  Electrocution Risk for Home DIY Repairs

Media Contact: Peter Chan 0401 114 569​

March 27
Amendments to Workers Compensation Legislation

The following bulletin outlines the amendments to the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation.

The Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 was tabled during the February 2015 sittings and passed in parliament on Wednesday 25 March.

These amendments will come into force in the near future.

Information Bulletin

Changes to Workers Rehabiliatation and Compensation Legislation​

March 26
Safety advice available at annual NT Cattlemen's Association Industry Conference

NT WorkSafe is attending the 31st Annual NT Cattlemen's Association Industry Conference on Friday 27 March as part of ongoing support for the industry. Workplace Health and Safety Inspectors will be available to assist with advice and provide information to help conference delegates manage health and safety in the workplace.

Director of Operations with NT WorkSafe, Neil Burgess said the cattle industry provides significant employment opportunities in regional and remote areas of the NT and has been identified as an important industry in developing North Australia.

"Nationally, agriculture as a broad industry group has been identified as a priority industry due to the high numbers and rates of injury and the hazardous nature of the work," Mr Burgess said.

"With the current emphasis on developing the North, NT WorkSafe is focused on supporting businesses and workers to ensure the safety and as a consequence, the productivity of the workforce."

"Aside from the obvious consequence to a worker who is injured at work, the work day's loss through injury has an effect on a business's productivity," Mr Burgess said.

NT WorkSafe has commenced an information and advice campaign for the cattle industry which is scheduled to conclude in June 2015. The campaign involves Workplace Health and Safety Inspectors scheduling workplace visits with cattle stations to discuss the hazards which have been identified in the industry.

"Our Inspectors have been working their way down the Territory and ten cattle stations in the Douglas-Daly, Katherine and Northern Barkley regions have been visited."

"There was a break due to the Wet Season, but we are ready to recommence our visits and will be contacting station in the Southern Barkley and Central Australia regions," Mr Burgess said.

"Initially Station Managers have been cautious about the visits given the industry's perception of NT WorkSafe, however once they realise the Inspectors are here to help, the visits have been positive and productive."

Conference delegates are encouraged to visit the NT WorkSafe stand to have a chat with a Workplace Health and Safety Inspectors to see how they can assist.