Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1992;18(5):293-297    pdf


Work-related electrical fatalities in Australia, 1982-1984.

by Harvey-Sutton PL, Driscoll TR, Frommer MS, Harrison JE

Work-related electrical fatalities were studied as part of a larger investigation into all work-related fatalities in Australia in the period 1982-1984. The 95 electrical fatalities (all men) represented an incidence of 0.49 per 100,000 persons (0.79/100,000 men) in the employed civilian labor force during the study period. Electricity was the fifth highest cause of work-related fatalities in Australia and resulted in 10% of all workplace deaths. Ninety-four percent of the workers were performing their usual tasks at the time of their death, and 38% of them were doing work of an electrical nature at the time. The greatest number of deaths occurred on farms and nonconstruction industrial sites, with overhead powerlines as the main source of current. Better placement of overhead powerlines, improved worker awareness of electrical hazards, and the use of residual current devices would probably have prevented most of the deaths.