Safety Reminder - Electrocution risk for DIY repairs
NT WorkSafe has issued a safety alert reminding residents carrying out repairs or maintenance in their homes not to carry out electrical work unless they are appropriately licenced.
The alert comes after the tragic death of a Tennant Creek resident who was electrocuted earlier in the month after trying to repair an air conditioning unit.
Executive Director of NT WorkSafe, Mr Stephen Gelding said that the preliminary findings from NT WorkSafe’s Electrical Safety Unit showed that the deceased was working on an air conditioning unit which was energised.
“Electricity has the potential to cause serious injury and death, which is the reason why electricians are required to be licensed,” Mr Gelding said.
“We hear stories all the time of people doing their own wiring or what they consider to be minor electrical work to save a few dollars instead of calling a licensed electrician.”
“But all it takes is one small mistake for a tragedy to occur.”
“Next time someone is thinking about doing their own electrical work, they need to stop and ask themselves, how much is their life worth?” Mr Gelding said.
The preliminary findings also showed that the air conditioning unit was plugged into an electrical circuit that wasn’t protected by a safety switch. In 1991, the Australian / New Zealand Wiring Rules required all power circuits installed in domestic dwellings be protected by a safety switch.
Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and detect a problem that may pose a risk to personal safety and turn the power off within 0.03 of a second.
Whilst there isn’t a requirement to retrofit safety switches into houses built before 1991, any upgrades to the electrical circuits of domestic dwelling will require a safety switch to be installed.
“If a household can afford it, it is highly recommended that people living in houses built before 1991 have a licence electrician install safety switches in their homes,” Mr Gelding said.
NT WorkSafe has an electrical safety unit to provide electrical safety information for domestic and workplace situations. For more information on electrical safety contact NT WorkSafe.