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Preventable Electric Shock Incident Highlights Importance of Workplace Safety

An Auckland scaffolder lost both his arms in an electric shock incident that could have been avoided with proper safety measures.

In April 2022, Jahden Nelson was dismantling scaffolding in the West Auckland suburb of Massey when a steel pole he was holding came into contact with an overhead powerline. The incident resulted in high voltage electrical burns to his upper and lower limbs, ultimately leading to the amputation of both his arms. Jahden will now require daily assistance for routine activities for the rest of his life due to the severity of his injuries.

The employer, CPA 2022 Limited, has been sentenced for its failure to ensure the safety of its workers. The worksite had been granted a Close Approach Consent, which requires the same crew to both erect and dismantle the scaffolding for safety reasons. However, an investigation by WorkSafe revealed that none of the four-man dismantling crew, including Jahden Nelson, had been involved from the beginning. Although the initial crew received a briefing on working safely under high-voltage lines, the dismantling crew did not.

It is crucial for companies to ensure that any expert information they receive is shared with all workers who require it. The failure to communicate essential safety guidelines to the dismantling crew resulted in devastating consequences for Jahden Nelson and highlights the importance of effective communication in preventing workplace accidents.

Implementing Safety Measures in the Workplace

Workplaces must prioritize safety and take proactive steps to prevent accidents and injuries. Here are some practical tips for implementing safety measures:

1. Conduct comprehensive risk assessments:

Identify potential hazards and assess the risks associated with different tasks. This will help you develop appropriate safety protocols and procedures.

2. Provide adequate training:

Ensure that all workers receive proper training on safety procedures and protocols specific to their roles. Regular refresher courses can help reinforce safe practices.

3. Share information effectively:

Establish clear communication channels to share important safety information with all employees. This includes updates on potential hazards, safety guidelines, and any changes to procedures.

4. Regularly inspect and maintain equipment:

Regularly inspect and maintain all equipment to ensure it is in proper working condition. Faulty or malfunctioning equipment can pose significant safety risks.

5. Encourage reporting of safety concerns:

Create an environment where workers feel comfortable reporting safety concerns or near-miss incidents. Promptly address these concerns to mitigate potential risks.

By implementing these safety measures, companies can create a safer work environment and minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.

To read the full article, please visit Worker’s electric shock was preventable.

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