In this article (Part 1) looking at electrical incident investigations, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of the crucial preplanning phase and the vital first response in the management and prevention of these life-threatening incidents.
Chris Halliday is the leading expert in Australia for Electrical Incident Investigations and is the Electrical Safety Advocate and Specialist Trainer at PowerLogic.
Preparations for an electrical incident will depend on the organisation. A safety regulator will have totally different objectives to poles and wires business and to a mining company, etc.
Being prepared for an electrical incident, regardless of the type of organisation, will help ensure proper corrective and preventative actions are implemented to prevent recurrences. Recurrences will be frowned upon by safety regulators and the courts, especially if no actions were taken after the first incident. Prosecutions from safety regulators serve as a deterrent and incentive for businesses to prevent incidents initially and to prevent recurrences should an incident occur.
Preparations include having detailed procedures to be followed in the event of an incident and forms and/or checklists to help ensure adequate evidence is collected. Procedures will need to detail how the investigation team is selected and appointed, evidence is to be collected, recorded and stored, how evidence is to be analysed and examined, and test equipment calibration and accuracy requirements, etc.