EGT Safety Alert 72 - Electric Shock

Safety Alert 
72 – Electric Shock

19 March 2018

An EGT apprentice was working with a tradesman at a residential address that was under renovation. The apprentice was shown by the tradesman the area around an architrave switch that needed plastering. Normally this task would be carried out by a painter, but had been missed.

The switch plate mechanism was unscrewed and removed from the wall by the tradesman, exposing live parts. The apprentice then began to plaster around the switch, moving the plate that was hanging out from the wall side-to-side, when he made contact between active and switch wire with his left little finger.

The following photo shows the architrave switch.

Root Cause
The tradesman failed to isolate the circuit and did not comply with Reg.50 of the Electricity (Licensing) Regulations 1991.


  • EGT apprentices are to ensure the “test before you touch” principles are administered prior to commencement of all work activities.
  • EGT apprentices must ensure that they DO NOT work in the vicinity of live parts.
  • EGT apprentices should ensure circuits have been isolated by the tradesman and participate in the process (i.e. follow steps of isolation in the RAC).
  • EGT apprentices must complete their personal risk assessment (RAC) or other approved personal risk assessment (e.g. Take 5) prior to the commencement of all work activities.
  • EGT apprentices must ensure they wear PPE e.g. gloves.

Contributing Factors

  • Inadequate leadership/supervision from the tradesman – failure to isolate the circuit.
  • Lack of knowledge – the apprentice wasn’t aware of the hazard due to the nature of the task.
  • Improper motivation – the apprentice showed no motivation to complete his RAC or follow “test before you touch” principles, or to wear EGT issued protective gloves.

For further information regarding this Safety Alert, please contact EGT on (08) 6241 6100.­­­