National Safety Alert Number 1

This alert has been generated to ensure that all sites in Australia are aware of the risks associated with HV oil-insulated combined-fuse switches produced by Long & Crawford Manchester utilised within the electrical industry. A Long & Crawford HV combined-fuse switch exploded at the Morley Galleria Shopping Centre on 3 February, killing two persons and severely injuring two others.

EnergySafety WA issued an Order that the high voltage oil-insulated combined-fuse switches involved in the explosion must be completely disconnected from the electricity supply before any person may open the switch’s lid.

At the Divisional Executives meeting on the 17th of March President L. McLaughlan and National Safety Officer D. Tuddenham reported on the electrical incident that occurred at the Galleria Shopping Centre in Perth, the Divisional Executives resolves:

1. To call upon all employers and Electrical Safety regulators to conduct immediate safety audits in all workplaces where HV oil insulated fuse switch units are in operation; and
2. Calls upon each branch of the ETU to implement immediate live work bans on Long and Crawford/ GEC/ ALSTOM high voltage oil insulated fuse switch units (e.g. GF3, T4GF3, etc.).

The Divisional executives support the EnergySafety Order relating to the high voltage equipment involved in this fatality and congratulates Energy Safety from Western Australia for taking the proactive steps in issuing an order on working de-energised on all high voltage oil insulated fuse switch units and calls upon all other State/Territory Electrical Safety regulators to implement similar orders.

For Further information contact your designated Health & Safety Representative or your local organiser.

AUTHORISED BY ALLEN HICKS, NATIONAL SECRETARY ETU

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