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Pursuant to s.18B of the Energy Coordination Act 1994, this Order dated 13 February 2015 is issued to and affects all owners and operators of electrical installations incorporating oil-insulated high voltage (HV) combined-fuse switches manufactured by Long & Crawford Manchester later re-badged GEC-Alsthom (referred to herein as "L & C fuse switches").
On 3 February 2015 electrical workers were engaged to perform maintenance on an 11kV oil-insulated Long & Crawford combined-fuse switch. A violent explosion occurred caused by a high-current fault within the unit's tank. Most of the insulating oil in the tank was vaporised instantly. The type of fuse switch involved permits a work practice whereby the three fuse cartridges immersed in the tank can be changed while the in-coming high voltage bus bars at the base of the tank remain energised.
This incident is under investigation by EnergySafety and WorkSafe WA. While the investigation is at an early stage, it appears that there has been a failure within the fuse switch concerned.
Based on evidence obtained thus far from the investigation, I have formed the opinion that it may become dangerous to carry out the above-mentioned work practice on L & C fuse switches unless they are first completely isolated from the electricity supply. Therefore, safeguards are justified to protect those called upon to carry out electrical work repairs or other maintenance on these switches.
My reasons for reaching this opinion are:
From the date of this Order: