A 3rd year apprentice was working with a team on a decommissioning job in the CBD. The
apprentice started on site at 6.00am and the team completed a Job Safety and Environment
Assessment (JSEA). During the morning safety meeting, it was indicated that live temporary
lighting feeds were present in the work area.
The apprentice started their day in one area of the building and later moved to another area
and task. The Supervising Electrical Worker (SEW) instructed the apprentice to remove the
disconnected redundant cables from a cable tray. The SEW at this point also reminded the
apprentice to use a volt stick and be mindful of the temporary lighting feed.
The apprentice transported a platform ladder to the far end of the cable tray and cut the
redundant cables on the tray in preparation for removal, ensuring to test with a volt stick
before cutting each one.
The apprentice has then moved to the switchboard side of the cable tray and commenced
removing the decommissioned cables. The apprentice did not retest the cables at this
While removing the cables from the cable tray, the apprentice did not notice that the live
temporary feed was wrapped around the cables and the threaded rod of the cable
tray. The apprentice has braced against the cable tray with their right hand and pulled hard
on a cable with their left hand.
The live feed was caught up with the cable being pulled and has been forced against
the threaded rod, tearing the insulation. This caused the cable to short from the live
feed to the cable tray, sending electricity through the cable tray to the apprentice’s
The RCD on the circuit has tripped immediately, causing the lights to go out and reducing
the severity of the shock received. This also alerted others on site to an incident occurring.
The apprentice has descended the ladder and required a moment to compile themselves.
Instead of reporting the incident immediately to their supervisor, they made the report 30
minutes later and subsequently delayed medical attention. An ECG was carried out and
the apprentice was cleared of any effects.
The incident was not reported to EGT until the following week, after a long weekend.
This delayed the opportunity to conduct a timely investigation and provide effective support
to the apprentice.
For further information regarding this Safety Alert, please contact EGT on (08) 6241 6100 or
speak with your Field Officer.