Young and inexperienced workers are the most vulnerable on work sites, particularly the high risk sites such as construction. One of the most common causes of injuries and fatalities among young workers and in fact even experienced workers is electrical hazards.
Every year a number of workers die from electric shocks sustained at work, which has prompted The Workplace Health and Safety Authority Queensland to release a video aimed at educating people about the need to make electrical and workplace safety a priority, not only in construction businesses but all workplaces.
The video entitled “Forever Young” tells the story of Tim Martin, a young man of just 17 years old who died from an electric shock. The video explores the emotional struggles and impact on the family of the victim, from the perspective of his father, Bill Martin.
The following excerpt from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s website explains more about the video:
Mr Martin shared the personal story of his son to raise awareness of the need to make electrical and workplace safety a priority for every business.
The film will not only help to raise awareness of the risks when working near electricity, but of the need to make sure all young Queenslanders were safe at work.
Each year, around four people die in electrical incidents and more than 3000 dangerous electrical events and serious electrical incidents are reported to the Electrical Safety Office.
Injuries and fatalities in the electrical industry are not restricted to touching live electrical parts, but also coming too close to electricity, falling from heights and working in confined spaces. A momentary lapse of attention can result in the severest of injuries or even death.
“Simple things like good induction, safety training, adequate supervision and having strong safety systems in place can go a long way to preventing workplace incidents.”
Burns are the most common type of injury from electric shocks and can be either electrical burns as a result of heat generated by the flow of electric current through the body, arc or flash burns caused by an electric arc or explosion and a thermal contact burns caused by overheated electric equipment. It is important that employers as well as workers are aware of the risks and guard against them so that no other families have to endure the pain the Martin’s have been through.
Another issue that this case highlights is the need for young and inexperienced workers to be properly trained and supervised, especially within the construction industry.
Employers are always being warned about the importance of providing adequate training and supervision to new and young workers yet many of these still treat these “newbies” as they do everyone else on site which is a mistake. Leaving young workers to work independently before they are experienced enough to do so can sometimes result in deadly consequences.
Watch the “Forever Young” video below:
Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiXxnLWTdmo