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WA Electrical Inspectors were recently called to attend a serious electrical incident involving an electrical apprentice.

The supervising electrical worker and apprentice were identifying cabling from a distribution board over 2 floors in a multi-story installation under construction.

This involved bridging/shorting out the conductors from the supply end of the cabling and measuring the load end (located on another floor) for continuity with a multi meter.

The supervising electrical worker was located at the load end of the cabling and the apprentice electrical worker was located at the supply end. The cabling to the line side of the supply breaker was live and had been tagged and locked out.

The apprentice was tasked with shorting out the load side of the supply breaker.

Due to a lack of the appropriate supervision the apprentice made the catastrophic mistake of shorting out the live line side of the isolated supply breaker.

The apprentice suffered severe burns and was hospitalised. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Important lessons

  • Ensure the proper supervision of apprentices at all times
  • Always wear the correct PPE for the task being undertaken