MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday June 12, 2018
An incident in Sydney in which a teenage girl stepped on an exposed live wire in the middle of a city street is reminder to the public about the dangers of electricity and the need to use only qualified electricians, the Electrical Trades Union warns.
On Sunday a 15-year-old girl was struck down in Sydney’s CBD as she walked near a light rail construction zone.
Reports suggest she fell to the ground in the foetal position, with pins and needles pulsing through her body. A witness tried to help but they were shocked by the live current.
Electrical Trades Union National Secretary Allen Hicks said the incident was a reminder of the dangers associated with electricity.
“Australia is not the place where anyone should expect to be struck down by an electrical shock as you walk along the street,” Mr Hicks said.
“We have standards and safeguards in place to not only protect electrical workers and others, but the public too.
“The suggestion that a live wire had simply come loose or unplugged is not good enough.”
The ETU National Secretary said he did not want to prejudge any investigation, but said the incident is a timely reminder about the imperative for using qualified and licenced electricians.
“Australia’s electrical industry has set a high, global standard and that can only be maintained by ensuring works are carried out by a licensed electrician or an apprentice under supervision,” Mr Hicks said.
“There can be no half measures. We can’t allow underqualified and unlicensed electrical workers to carry out electrical work on job sites or on homes because the risk is clearly too great.”
Mr Hicks said that despite companies facing large fines, there were dozens of jobs online calling for unlicensed electrical workers in New South Wales.
“Workers can be fined for doing unlicensed electrical work but that’s not enough to bring back a loved one who lost their life because of the carelessness or oversight of illegal, unlicensed work.
“The NSW Government needs to crack down on unlicensed electrical work to prevent future electrical incidents or worse fatalities.”
Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum
0419 499 886, [email protected]