Electrical – Apprentice electrician receives serious injuries
Another serious incident involving an apprentice electrician occurred last week.
A third-year electrical apprentice received serious injuries while working on a live switchboard.
The apprentice was replacing a single phase circuit breaker with a new Residual Current Circuit Breaker with Over Current Protection (RCBO) to a live distribution switchboard.
The switchboard involved in the incident was a 250amp 48 pole switchboard, compromising a main isolator and a center fed bus chassis, a combination of single and multi-phase circuit breakers fitted to it.
This electrical installation work was being performed at a large commercial site undergoing refurbishment.
The apprentice was working live.
When the apprentice attempted to replace the single phase circuit breaker with a new RCBO he initiated an arcing fault resulting in an electrical explosion. He received burns and was admitted to hospital in a serious condition. He is now home, recovering from his injuries.
Energy Safe Victoria, WorkSafe and Victoria Police are undertaking investigations into this incident.
ESV’s key messages
Stay alive, NEVER work live
Never work live on switchboards or electrical installations. Always disconnect the electricity supply before starting work.
Lock Out, Tag Out
Apprentices must be effectively and appropriately supervised.