Western Power fined over new safety breach

IT was lucky that a live Western Power electrical cable left exposed for over two weeks in a suburban Perth park caused only minor burns to a groundsman injured while cutting grass in 2002. Western Power was fined $10,000.
Western Power fined over new safety breach Western Power fined over new safety breach Western Power fined over new safety breach Western Power fined over new safety breach Western Power fined over new safety breach

The cable was left exposed, wrapped in electrical tape and protruding 3cm out of the earth for 17 days when the utility converted overhead power cable to underground cable, and was then ignored.

Western Power argued the cable was not part of its network and its employees had a reasonable but mistaken belief it was safe to run live power to the newly installed network.

Magistrate Vivien Edwards said Western Power could have terminated the end of the cable and put either disconnected the cable or put it in an adjacent mini-pillar.

She said it was lucky the man only received minor flash burns. The Office of Safety Energy said outside the court it could have been much worse if an inquisitive child had touched the cable.

Western Power said it had strengthened its safety procedures as a result of the incident.

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