Sparky fined $30K after worker hit with 10,000 volts
JACOB John Mohr, trading as SOLTEC Electrical and Airconditioning, was fined $30,000 for unsafe electrical practices after a contractor suffered serious electrical injuries at one of his work sites.
On April 27 the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard Mohr was hired to repair to a solar panel system on the roof of a shed at a Gatton property, in July 2018.
He engaged a company to install an edge protection system on the shed roof.
On the day of the incident Mohr was present as two edge-protection company workers installed protective rails.
The process involved a worker passing lengths of steel rail to a worker on the roof.
The court heard the ground worker handed a 6.5m steel rail to the worker on the roof.
While the steel rail was in the hands of the worker on the roof, it came into contact with, or within proximity of, the powerline near the shed roof, shocking the worker.
At the time of the incident, the voltage passing through the uninsulated powerline was about 11,000 volts.
The worker sustained burns to his hand and exit wounds to both feet and was hospitalised for six weeks.
The Workplace Health and Safety prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle said the risk of power lines was well known.
"It is fortunate the consequences of the offending here, whilst certainly serious, were not more severe," he said.
The court found the defendant failed to comply with section 30 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002 to ensure his business or undertaking was conducted in a way which was electrically safe.
That failure exposed a person to a risk of death or injury.
In sentencing, Magistrate Belinda Merrin considered the substantial ongoing impact to the victim.
She also took into account this was a first offence, an early guilty plea, the defendant's remorse, otherwise good character and the impact of a significant fine on the man's financial circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The defendant was fined $30,000, plus courts costs of just over $1,600 with no conviction recorded.