Company fined for electrician’s burn injuries - 22.7.16

A WA company has been fined $60,000 for exposing a worker to a hazard during an arc flash incident at Atlas Iron’s Wodgina iron ore project in Pilbara.

The incident happened on 9 November 2013. An electrician was replacing components within a switch room at the mine when he was injured from an arc flash.

The company pleaded guilty to exposing an employee to a hazard and was sentenced on Wednesday, 20 July in South Hedland Magistrates Court.

Department of Mines and Petroleum Mines Safety Director and State Mining Engineer Andrew Chaplyn said the company failed to ensure that electrical equipment under their control at the mine was properly maintained.

“The electrical equipment cubicle had no barrier preventing contact with live terminals and Mr. Blaess was exposed to live electrical conductors,” he said.

“It is extremely important to ensure that there is sufficient and effective supervision for the installation, maintenance and testing of electrical equipment at mine sites.

“Proper electrical supervision is critical in reducing electrical risks.”

The electrician suffered serious burns because of the incident.

“This incident had the potential to kill and is a stark reminder of the importance of electrical safety across mining operations,” said Mr. Chaplyn.

Source: OHS News