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Prosecution Details

Defendant Electricity Corporation
Trading Name Western Power
Section 21(1)(b)
Regulation Not Applicable
Offence Date Thursday, 28 March 1996
Description of Breach(es)

Being an employer, failed to ensure, so far as was practicable, that the safety of a person not being its employee was not adversely affected as a result of the work which it or any of its employees was engaged.

Background Details

Western Power engaged a contractor to lay an underground electrical cable under a roadway of an estate. Two of the contractor's employees attended the worksite on 8 March 1996 and placed ducting for 415 volt electrical cable under the roadway. The cable was de-energised and the end left on the cable drum. Later on that day, employees of Western Power connected that cable to an existing de-energised cable which terminated at a transformer on the estate.

On 16 March 1996 employees of Western Power replaced the transformer with another larger transformer. As a result of the procedure followed in that replacement, the cable that lead to the cable that was layed under the roadway became energised. That replacement was done by and under the supervision of a works coordinator/ supervisor.

On 28 March 1996 the two employees of the contractor returned to the worksite in order to cut the cable from the drum. They were unaware that it had been energised as the defendant had not notified the contractor. In attempting to cut the cable each employee was subjected to a potentially fatal electrical shock. One employee received burns to his arms and cuts to his face and both employees had facial hair singed.

Outcome Summary convicted
Conviction Date 29 Apr 1997
Court Busselton Court of Petty Sessions
Fine $10,000
Costs $300
Charge Number 168/97