Safety Alert 100 - Electric Shock


The apprentice and their tradesperson were issued instructions by the host employer to attend a site to conduct isolation and reenergising of an electrically controlled gate as maintenance works were to be undertaken by a third party (a technician).

The apprentice and tradesperson arrived on site and completed the appropriate pre-start and task specific risk assessment. The isolation was completed as required and they left site to wait for a call back from the technician to reenergise the circuit.

On completion of the works, they returned to site and removed the isolation, reenergising the gate control box. For reasons unknown, the technician returned to the control box and opened it without the controller circuit isolated, and during this process the technician may have received an electric shock. The technician then contacted the apprentice and tradesperson to report that something was wrong and requested they return to investigate.

The apprentice and tradesperson returned to site and began to investigate but did not redo the isolation procedure. While investigating the controller, the apprentice received an electric shock.

The apprentice was taken for an ECG and is not affected by the incident.

Root cause

  • Isolation procedures were not completed.
  • Failure to apply the “test before you touch” principle.
  • Failure to do a RAC for the task at hand.


  • Isolation procedures must be in place before any works are undertaken to ensure no work is conducted on live circuits or equipment.
  • EGT apprentices are to ensure the “test before you touch” principles are followed prior to commencement and recommencement of all work activities.

Ensure risk assessment processes are followed when a new task is to be undertaken.


For further information regarding this Safety Alert, please contact EGT on (08) 6241 6100.

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