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2017-02-24

Safety Alert Telstra Exchanges

Safety Alert: Telstra exchanges

The CWU has been made aware of a safety incident that occurred in a Telstra exchange in NSW earlier this year. 

The incident involved a field worker who encountered an electrical hazard while replacing a fluorescent tube.   

According to Telstra’s account of the incident, the worker disconnected the power lead from the daisy chain to commence the task. 

The disconnected light power cable drooped down and made contact with the metal cage that surrounds the light fitting, causing a short circuit and a subsequent tripping of the circuit breaker. 

An investigation revealed that the hazard arose from changes to the exchange suite lighting that had been made incorrectly, so that an extension cord in use had two male plugs (one at each end) and remained active despite one end being disconnected. 

Members are reminded of the following: 

  • The maintenance of a safe workplace is the responsibility of the employer. This includes ensuring that those carrying out maintenance work, however routine, are appropriately trained and qualified to do so. 
  • No workplace task should be undertaken unless you are satisfied it is safe to do so. You have a right to refuse to perform work which you consider hazardous or for which you are not appropriately trained. 
  • Modifications to and/or repair of electrical equipment in exchanges should only be carried out by a qualified electrician.

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