Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Electrical Fire Causes $300K Damage at Australia Bank

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Tasmania, Australia – Authorities are investigating the latest in a series of structure fires across the North in the past week, with a Commonwealth Bank fire causing an estimated $300,000 damage.

The fire, in the Elphin Road branch at Newstead, was reported about 11.55pm on Tuesday.

Firefighters contained the blaze to the main office area in the rear section of the building.

They removed roofing iron to prevent the fire from spreading.

The building sustained extensive smoke and heat damage.

North and North-West regional fire investigator Adrian Adams, of the Tasmania Fire Service, said authorities were considering the possibility that an electrical fault had started the fire.

He said there was an electrical appliance within the vicinity of the fire.

Mr Adams said he was waiting to receive CCTV footage, while TechSafe electrical inspectors were still investigating.

Detective Acting Inspector Jonathan Higgins said police were not investigating the bank fire, but were treating the second fire in five days at a South Launceston house as suspicious.

Commonwealth Bank acting regional Tasmanian general manager Lisa Maher apologised to customers for any inconvenience caused by the Newstead fire.

She advised people to use Commonwealth Bank branches in the Launceston central business district, Kings Meadows and Mowbray in the meantime.

Story Via:

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Australia: Apprentice in Hospital, Fall after Shock

October 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Canberra, Australia: A 20-year-old electrical apprentice is in hospital after falling five metres at a worksite in Canberra’s south.  The man was up a ladder conducting maintenance work on a garage roller door when he received an electric shock from a live wire on Wednesday afternoon.  He fell five metres to the ground and sustained serious head injuries.  Canberra Hospital says the man is currently stable but in a critical condition.

The man was working for a company contracted by the ACT Government to carry out maintenance on the site at the old bus depot on Dundas Street in Phillip. The site is being leased by a car detailing company.  ACT Government has shut down the work site. The accident happened just hours after the construction union staged a rally in Civic calling on the ACT Government to improve worker safety on construction sites.  Police and WorkSafe ACT are investigating. Work safety commissioner Mark McCabe says it is an extremely serious incident.  “Some people have said to me ‘will it become more serious if the condition of the worker worsens?’,” he said.

“It will from a human point of view. From our point of view it’s a serious incident already. It could very easily have led to a much worse circumstance than it is as the moment. It’s up there with the highest of incidents.” The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is seeking more details about the accident. Mick Koppie says the union understands the apprentice was working alone. “It needs to be investigated along those lines,” he said.

“I understood he received an electric shock and then fell to the floor below him and landed on his head.”  WorkSafe says that will form part of their investigation. “What is happening there with that wiring, and why was it in that state?” Mr McCabe said. “I’m certainly concerned at the things our inspectors are finding, I think it will become a complex investigation.”

By law all apprentices must be supervised while performing live electrical work.  There have been four fatal accidents on Canberra work sites since last December.

Submissions closed yesterday for an inquiry into workplace safety set up by the ACT Government.

The apprentice was employed by a contractor for the Government.

Story via,au


Teen Electrocuted by Retail Sign on Street in Bali

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

BALI, Indonesia – police are considering bringing charges of criminal negligence following the death by electrocution of central coast teenager Jake Flannery – but they don’t know who exactly to blame.

As the parents of the popular young man were due to arrive at the holiday island late tonight for the sad task of bringing their son’s body home, police are investigating whether the owners of the Joker’s Cafe, the government electricity provider or the local Public Works Office is responsible.

Mr Flannery, 18, died instantly at about 3am on Saturday morning after he stumbled and grabbed onto a neon sign owned by the Kuta establishment as he tried to squeeze around a large pile of pavers that had been left on the street.

It had been raining heavily before the accident, which occurred when Mr Flannery was walking down the street with a group of friends who had travelled with him to Bali to celebrate schoolies.

While Colin Flannery, the teenager’s father, has said the family blames no one, a Kuta Police senior detective, Inspector Muhammad Wahyudin Latif, told the Jakarta Globe: “There are very strong indications of criminal negligence in this case, but we haven’t set our sights on any one party yet.”

Inspector Muhammad was speaking after police staged a re-enactment of the accident, requiring Mr Flannery’s friends to return to the scene to participate in the Indonesian police tradition.

A spokesman for Bali’s electricity company, Agung Mastika, said: “It’s not our responsibility. Our responsibility ends at the meter. It is the responsibility of the client. It [the accident] didn’t happen on the street, we sent someone to check [on Saturday] and we notified the cafe owner.”

The manager of Joker’s Cafe, which also sells alcohol, told media that tourists were to blame for the accident. Inebriated foreigners often bumped into the sign, and probably damaged the wiring, he said.

The Badung Works Office, which left the pile of pavers in the street, was unwilling to comment yesterday.

As the blame game gathered pace, the parents of Mr Flannery have shown great composure and grace as they dealt with the unexpected death of a much-loved son.

The parents, Colin and Cheryl, and Mr Flannery’s sisters are going to Bali “to make peace”, rather than find a culprit. Colin Flannery told Channel Ten the family accepted it was an unfortunate accident.

“Jake was a wonderful boy who gave so much love to everyone. He had a wonderful life ahead of him and it’s such a tragedy that it’s been cut short,” the family said in a statement released yesterday.

“We have wonderful memories of him. The reason we are going to Bali today is to bring Jake home and to thank the people who helped him over there. We also want to make peace.”

A spokesman for Bali’s main hospital, Sanglah, said it was “rare” to treat victims of electrocution. Months would go by without any victims presenting at the hospital, said Dr Dudut, who goes by one name.

Even so, Indonesia is a developing country and there was no shortage of commentary in response to Mr Flannery’s death bemoaning the dire state of electrical work in Bali and elsewhere across the archipelago.

A Bali-based Australian and blogger, Vyt Karazija, wrote he was not surprised by the tragedy.

“The quality of electrical work is abysmal,” he posted.

“I ride past villas under construction and see bare electrical cable being laid in concrete slabs without the use of conduits, cabling with savage kinks being pulled tight in walls and roofs, and metal boxes with fragile wiring poking through roughly drilled holes without the protection of tape, much less a grommet. I see rat’s nests of wiring on poles and main boards of shops and houses.”

A post on the Jakarta Globe’s website observed: “Impassable sidewalks and shoddy electrical installations are par for the course throughout Indonesia.”

Another remarked on Bali’s cluttered streets: “You cannot walk 15 feet [five metres] in Bali without going around something on, near or built on any footpath.”

Read More: Story Via The Sydney Morning Herald

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Canberra, Australia – Safe Work Australia on Monday announced the 38 finalists for the 6th Annual Safe Work Australia Awards, which are national safety and health awards commending efforts to prevent injuries and deaths on the job. Given in four categories, these awards will be presented April 28, World Day for Health and Safety at Work, in Canberra.

Finalists in the individual category include David Lynch, a safety supervisor for Hansen Yuncken Commercial Construction Division in Adelaide, who was site safety officer for the construction of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre project, which was completed with no lost-time injuries; and Danny Norton, senior electrical engineer for Sinclair Knight Merz, a design, consulting, and planning firm with projects in Asia, Europe, and South America. Norton developed risk assessment tools and workshops to help industry organizations and individuals prevent arc flash injuries at a time when there was no Australian standard addressing arc flash risks, and he has been instrumental in the progress toward development of an Australian standard in this area, according to Safe Work Australia.

Dangerous Train Surfing Can Lead To Electrocution

January 24, 2011 Leave a comment

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Melbourne is facing a troubling train surfing epidemic, with the number of cases more than doubling in the past two years.

In the past four months, 87 people have been busted for train surfing, while so far in January a person a day has thumbed their noses at the $293 fine, the Herald Sun reported.

Metro spokesman Chris Whitefield confirmed the train operator continued to battle the “dangerous and stupid” trend, with 20 caught either train surfing, or trying to climb on to the outside of trains in January alone.

More incidents are believed to go unreported, but perpetrators often share their exploits on social networks or leave graffiti tags as a notorious reminder.

Two years ago, former trains operator Connex said it was concerned when train surfing reports jumped from just three to nine per month.

In response, Connex began targeting schools, sending staff to warn students of the danger, particularly along the Frankston, Lilydale and Pakenham lines, which were the most frequently surfed.

While the latest alarming statistics more than double the rate of those reports, Metro said the higher rates could reflect previously unreported people being nabbed.

And while no one had died surfing trains recently, Mr Whitefield said, “That doesn’t change the fact that it is extremely dangerous.”

In 2008, a train surfer’s body was found on the roof of a carriage at Flinders St station, after apparently being electrocuted somewhere between Werribee and Newport.

Many more would-be train surfers are believed to have been injured.

In September last year, police released shocking footage of a pair of train surfers spotted riding the rails on an Eltham-bound train, between Jolimont and Clifton Hill.

“Attempting to ride on the outside of a moving train is both dangerous and stupid, and it can undermine the safety of the network,” Mr Whitefield said.

He said in most cases, train surfers rode on the rear of a train as it sped through the city network.

Metro was relying on the work of staff and public reports to catch perpetrators, he said.

“It’s something we’re working to stamp out, to prevent people doing it.”

Story via

Electrician Killed While Not Wearing Right PPE

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Northern Territory, Australia –  WorkSafe says a man who died in Darwin’s rural area was electrocuted when he touched a damaged wire.

The 66-year-old electrician was called to a house in Howard Springs last Thursday, to repair a power line damaged by a storm.

WorkSafe says tree branches had fallen on the line and the man was electrocuted when he tried to reconnect it with a power pole.

WorkSafe says the man wasn’t using the right protective equipment and didn’t have the tools to check if the line was damaged.

WorkSafe has issued a safety alert, urging all contractors to be extremely careful when working with damaged power lines.

Story via

State Government Launching Electrical Safety Campaign

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Perth, Austrailia – ALMOST 30 West Australians, including eight children, have died from electrocution in the past 17 years.

This very sombre statistic has prompted the State Government and Energy Safety to launch a new campaign to prevent people from being electrocuted in their homes and workplaces.

Starting from today, a television, radio and newspaper advertising campaign will encourage homeowners and businesses in pre-2000 homes to have Residual Current Devices (RCDs) fitted.

An RCD is an electrical safety device fitted to the main meter box or switchboard of a house or business and can detect any imbalance in the electrical current or leakage to earth and immediately cuts the electricity supply to avoid electrocution.

In the past 17 years, 29 people – including eight children – have been fatally electrocuted in WA homes.

Twenty-three of these deaths could have been prevented had RCDs been fitted.

Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien said today the campaign would be aimed at improving the take-up of RCDs in West Australian homes.

“The purpose of this campaign is to say to people, don’t wait until you have to sell your home to have and RCD fitted,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is a proactive and important step in making sure that West Australians and their children are safeguarded in their own home.”

It had been compulsory since 2000 for all newly built homes and businesses to have two RCDs fitted as part of the initial electrical installation.

The State Government introduced regulations to require all homes for sale to have two RCDs fitted before the property could be sold.

Seniors who install RCDs in their home could also be eligible for a rebate of up to $200.

Energy Safety executive director Ken Bowron said about 20 to 30 per cent of West Australian homes were fitted with RCDs.

“Certainly by making them mandatory for new homes…we’ll be heading towards 70 per cent (covered) over 15 years,” Mr Bowron said.

“But we’re unhappy that that’s not fast enough so we are trying to get people to put them in voluntarily earlier.”

Story via

Man Electrocuted Cutting Down Trees

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Northern Territory, Australia –  Police say it seems the electrocution of a man in Darwin’s rural area yesterday was a tragic accident.

The 66 year-old man was cutting down trees in Thornbill Crescent in Howard Springs.

Duty Superintendent Bob Rennie says some branches fell across nearby power lines.

“He attempted to clear the trees by climbing a ladder but tragically it appears the ladder sank into the wet ground and earthed, killing this poor gentleman,” Supt Rennie said.

Story via ABCNET.AU

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Company & Directors Charged for Electrical Accident

January 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Cairns, Australia – The mother of a 22-year-old who was electrocuted while fitting roof insulation is hopeful news of charges being laid against his employer will help provide the family with closure.

Wendy Sweeney’s son Mitchell was tragically killed on February 4 last year while installing foil insulation in the ceiling of a Millaa Millaa home, 150km southwest of Cairns.

A Burleigh-based company has been charged with allegedly failing to conduct its business or undertaking in a way that was electrically safe.

Charges have also been laid against two company directors.

Mrs Sweeney said it had been a “long 11 months” waiting for the outcome of the investigation.

“When I last spoke to Workplace Health and Safety they said there were still things coming up that they had to work through. I thought to myself, ‘They’re going to get away with it’,” she said.

“But when they rang this week to let us know that charges had been laid, I was very relieved.”

Mrs Sweeney said she and her family just wanted someone to stand up and be accountable for her son’s death.

“If they’re found guilty, it won’t bring Mitchell back but you need something to help you get closure.

“I found it a struggle to get through the weeks leading up
to Christmas but hopefully starting 2011 with this news means things will get better as the year goes on.”

The charges will be heard at the Atherton Industrial Magistrates Court on February 8.

Story via

Teen Boy Electrocuted Climbing Train in Australia

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

GLADSTONE, AUSTRALIA –  A teenage boy is dead after being electrocuted while climbing a coal train near Glenlyon Road yesterday morning.

Gladstone district Inspector Graham Coleman said this morning shortly before 7am a Queensland Rail coal train was travelling along a section of track when the driver saw a young man sitting on the side of the track.

“The young bloke has jumped up and waved the train down and according to procedures, the train stopped,” he said.

“Police had been in the area in relation to another job. We attended the scene.

“Basically the driver’s lost sight of the young fella.”

Insp Coleman said police and the driver tried the find the teenager, not wanting to move the train in case he was underneath.

He said after completing the search and not finding the boy, searchers were alerted to a noise coming from the top of the train where the boy was found.

Insp Coleman said police had been looking for the teenager prior to the train incident.

“We received information that he was driving in a vehicle and we were looking for him,” he said.

“At no time did we find him but some Queensland Rail employees brought the attention to us that his vehicle was actually stuck in bushland. We responded to it. We found the car but we didn’t find him and then at some stage he’s made his way from where his car was to the rail line.

“I understand it belonged to the family.”

Investigations are continuing.

UPDATE: THE funeral for teenager Brent McDonald who was electrocuted on Saturday will be held tomorrow.

The funeral will be held at 10am Friday at Boyne-Tannum.

Brent died when he was electrocuted while climbing a coal train near Glenlyon Road.

Police received information on Saturday that Brent was driving a car and went looking for him.

Queensland Rail employees contacted police to say that Brent’s car was stuck in bushland.

Police searched the area but did not find him.

Eventually his body was found on top of the coal train.

The 15-year-old was a student at Gladstone State High School.

Tributes flowed over the weekend on Brent’s facebook page from friends and family who knew and loved the local youth.

Story via