Workers walk off the job after electric shock incident

construction
Photo: SafetyCulture Library

Workers of an apartment site in Canberra have walked off the job after an apprentice electrician suffered from an electric shock in Canberra on Thursday.

The apprentice was working alone on a platform ladder and received shock from a live circuit which she thought has been switched off. (Read SafetyCulture Report).

According to ABC News, all workers have stopped work on the site while safety inspection is being conducted.

A CFMEU representative told ABC that the victim was thrown from a ladder during the shock and was unconscious until workmates found her.

The site will not be opened again until after the Australia Day long weekend.

ABC further reported that CFMEU spokesman Dean Hall said a site meeting was conducted and that the decision to walk off the job was made by the workers.

“We’ve found some fundamental failings. When the emergency procedure was let off… the first four workers that came out couldn’t tell us where the emergency assembly point was,” said Mr Hall.

“There’s been a breakdown of communication. There’s paperwork in place but little understanding on site of practical implications of safety.

“There’s a fundamental breakdown in consultation and communication,” he said.

Mr Hall also said that workers are already frustrated and that they feel that “safety is a paid lip service.”

“That’s got to change and that’s why the ACT has a terrible record in leading the nation on workplace injury and fatality rates.”

WorkSafe ACT is investigating the incident. Work Safety Commissioner Mark McCabe said a prohibition notice has been issued for the job the victim was working on, but there are currently no plans to shut the site down.


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