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Three serious injuries and a fatality

Published 2023-09-12


Energy Safe Victoria has serious concerns about complacency in the electrical industry when it comes to safety after three serious injuries and a fatality in just over two months.

  • On 4 September an electrician was killed after falling from a ladder.
  • On 4 July, an electrician was hospitalised with burns after he pierced a live cable with his pliers at a residential property in Clifton Hill, causing an explosion.
  • On 22 July, a 29-year-old electrician has been hospitalised with burns caused by an explosion on a live switchboard at a Burwood East office complex. The electrician’s gloves melted into his skin after he made contact with live switchboard wiring.
  • On 30 August, a switchboard tester suffered an electric shock and was resuscitated after coming into contact with live equipment when carrying out live testing of a newly manufactured switchboard.

Key Lessons

Electrical Safety

Electrical workers should undertake a comprehensive assessment of potential risks before work commences, taking the time to identify possible risk factors such as:

  • isolating supply to ensure electrical risks are eliminated before works commence
  • ensuring appropriate personal protective equipment is used when assessing an installation or live testing
  • the age of the installation and understanding the wiring configuration.

Working in the vicinity of Live Electrical Equipment

Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety legislation requires that electricians do not expose themselves to unnecessary risks.


  • plan and discuss the job
  • disconnect the electrical supply before starting work
  • confirm isolations are correct and test with suitable instruments
  • make sure completed work is tested to the appropriate standard.


  • try to save time by avoiding procedures and proper risk assessment
  • allow customers to leave the electricity supply on
  • work on energised equipment
  • overlook isolating all electrical equipment.

For more information on your electrical safety obligations, visit our page that covers your responsibilities

Energy Safe. Always.

Date: 21/04/2024 13:13

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Reviewed 14 September 2023