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Court Summary - at a glance
- The hazard assessment, prior to the work being undertaken, was not documented in a single document.
- The work at the Old Karori Road substation should have been undertaken with the substation de-energised.
- The Work Plan should have included instructions:
- That the Work Plan should not be undertaken if there was a variation in the layout of the substation; and
- That if there was any reason why the steps in the Work Plan could not be followed, the work should stop.
- The defendant should have identified site specific risks to Northpower.
On 27 May 2014, a Northpower trainee was the victim of an arc flash event caused during the decommissioning of bias panel equipment at a berm substation. The decommissioning work was conducted adjacent to live components. The victim supported the bias-panel transformer while another worker unbolted it. As the victim moved the transformer a support bracket behind it became dislodged and fell into the live 400V terminal connections. This resulted in an arc flash; a short circuit which releases an uncontrolled burst of energy.
The victim was seriously harmed, sustaining deep burns to the thigh and superficial burns to the face, buttocks and upper legs.