EnergySafety has imposed new safety precautions for the type of high voltage (HV) switches involved in the 3 February Morley Galleria Shopping Centre explosion.
The HV oil-insulated combined-fuse switches produced by Long & Crawford Manchester must be completely disconnected from the electricity supply before any person may open the switch’s lid.
Announcing this today the Director of Energy Safety, Ken Bowron said that the Morley Galleria accident was stark evidence of the inherent danger associated with these switches.
“The type of switch involved allows the three fuses to be changed while the in-coming electricity supply at the base of the tank remains energised”, Mr Bowron said.
“I have taken this step because 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.”
“It is unsafe to perform work on any item of electrical equipment while it remains energised, especially high voltage equipment”, he said.
Mr Bowron said many similar Long & Crawford switches, of unknown number and location, are owned and operated by private owners, with unknown histories of preventative maintenance.
“We are looking into all aspects of these switches as part of the investigation process following the Morley Galleria accident and the Order we are issuing today is made in light of evidence we have to date.
“The Order will be sent to all licensed electrical contractors in WA and property owners likely to have these switches on their property”, Mr Bowron said.
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