Power line safety reminder after teenager’s serious injuries
- Teenager’s garden equipment appears to have touched overhead power lines
- High-voltage power line carrying 22,000 volts of electricity
- Guides on vegetation management and high-voltage installations available
WA’s energy safety regulator is investigating an incident in Gnangara today (27 May 2023) in which a teenager appears to have received an electric shock from high-voltage power lines while clearing vegetation.
Building and Energy electrical inspectors are on site at the property where witness accounts indicate the young man sustained serious hand and other injuries after his trimming equipment made contact with the power lines, causing the electric current to pass through his body.
The high-voltage power lines carry 22,000 volts of electricity.
“This is an extremely distressing event that will no doubt have long-lasting impacts on this young man, his family and the people who were working alongside him,” WA’s Director of Energy Safety, Saj Abdoolakhan, said.
“This incident is a reminder of the hazards of electricity and how life can change in an instant. My thoughts are with all those affected.”
Mr Abdoolakhan urged property owners to engage suitably qualified arborists, rather than attempting to trim trees themselves near live electrical infrastructure.
“As well as the dangers of electric shock, arcing or fire, there are also fall risks,” he said.
“Branches, tools and other objects can conduct electricity, while overhead wires can still be dangerous even without direct contact.”
Building and Energy’s Guidelines for the management of vegetation near power lines has more information on clearance zones and responsibilities for different power lines, properties and vegetation types.
For vegetation workers, the Code of Practice for vegetation worker electrical safety is also available online along with a guide, training information and an online assessment.
Media contact: BEmedia@dmirs.wa.gov.au