The now deceased, another electrician and an electrical assistant were instructed to conduct a three
monthly earth leakage test on the low tension side (525 volts) of an underground mini-substations on level
113. The now deceased was the scribe and recorded all readings taken during the testing. He, therefore, did
not wear the PPE required by the mine procedure when testing is to be conducted on live electrical
equipment. The other electrician was wearing the required PPE, as he was conducting the physical tests on
the live apparatuses.
After the tests were conducted, the now deceased went alone to open the isolator switch panel, which feeds
directly from the transformer. Although the isolator was switch off, the top connectors of the isolator were still
alive. It is assumed that he wanted to conduct a visual inspection for hot connections on the terminals. The
other electrician applied resuscitation while the assistant called for assistance. The paramedics arrived at
the scene and took over the resuscitation to no avail.
CAUSES OF EVENT:
• Lack of adequate management controls.
• Inadequate assessment of the risk involved in the process.
• Lack of sufficient training, instruction and supervision of the employees.
• Employee complacency.
• Review of risk assessment, safe operating procedures and safe systems of work.
• When tests are to be conducted on live apparatus or any live electrical equipment, all employees
involved, whether they do the physical testing or not, must wear the required PPE while present when
testing is in progress.
• When testing is not required in an electrical cubicle, the panel should be kept closed for the duration of
the test, and no inspections should be conducted on any electrical cubicle before the power is isolated.
• Employees must adhere to mine standards, and not become complacent.