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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters



OSH Tracker

Department of Labour v Batey (DC, 13/03/95)

OSH Tracker

Defendant:
Alan Frederick Batey
Power authority worker Alan Frederick Batey was fined $1500 with costs of $595 in the Waihi DC on 13 March for failing to ensure his own safety as required by s19(a) of the Act.  In October last year he was one of two workers engaged in the major service of a substation circuit breaker and minor service of its associated current transformer set, line disconnecter and line earth switch, when he suffered an electric shock causing burns to his face and arms.  He also received cuts and stiffness across his shoulders and was hospitalised for three days.  OSH investigation revealed that he was working from a stepladder positioned on top of part of the circuit breaker instead of from an extension ladder placed against the structure which would have ensured the approach to the switch was from the safe side and that the potentially live area was not encroached upon.  Prior to leaving his employer's main office the defendant failed to ascertain the exact nature of the job and therefore did not take an extension ladder.  In choosing to place a step ladder on top of the structure he worked within the 600mm minimum safe working distance of live lines.  He acknowledged his employer's policy providing for an employee to refuse to work in unsafe conditions but on this occasion failed to follow it.  He also failed to complete the 'tailgate session' which involved employees assessing and planning their work prior to commencement, including the identification of hazards and deciding how to deal with them.  A check sheet is normally completed as part of the procedure. The Court commented that if the defendant's injuries had not been so serious the fine would have been much higher. 
Industry:
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply
Sub-Industry:
Electricity and Gas Supply
Risk:
Electrocution
Burns/explosion
Harm:
Injury
Penalty Amount:
$1500.00
Reparation Amount:
$0.00
Appeared in Safeguard issue 31

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