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Two workers suffered serious electrical burns in contact with high-voltage conductor

Date of incident: June 2013
Notice of incident: 2013157530227
Employer: Electrical work company

Incident summary
A crane operator and two workers were installing a street lighting pole under a high-voltage distribution conductor. While the crane operator lifted the pole into place, the two workers positioned it over the four studs of the concrete base onto which the pole was to be bolted. The pole's davit arm contacted the conductor, and both workers suffered electrical burns.

Investigation conclusions

  • Arm of street lighting pole contacted high-voltage conductor: While attempting to install a 9-metre davit-arm lighting pole, workers inadvertently made contact with a high-voltage conductor above them. Two workers sustained serious burn injuries.

Underlying factors

  • Incorrect conductor location on design drawings: The firm hired to design the street lighting did not identify the correct location of the high-voltage overhead conductors.
  • Health and safety of workers not ensured: The work parties relied on the inaccurate lighting design drawings, instead of performing an adequate pre-job hazard assessment. The proximity of the high-voltage conductors was not identified, which created a hazard to workers as they installed the street lighting pole.

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Publication Date: Jun 2013 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2013157530227