An inquest into the electrocution of a young man at a Queensland construction site underlines the need for better electrical safety, the state government says.
Jason Garrels, 20, was killed when the switchboard he was carrying came into contact with live wires at a housing site at Clermont, west of Mackay, on February 27, 2012.
Paramedics arrived within minutes but the ambulance could not get to where Mr Garrels was lying because of wet and muddy ground.
Coroner David O’Connell delivered his findings this week into Mr Garrels’ death along with recommendations to prevent a similar tragedy. The Queensland government said on it will consider the recommendations.
“Jason’s tragic death at such a young age was entirely preventable,” Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations Curtis Pitt said.
A specialist government industrial relations group is now considering how best to respond to the Coroner’s findings.
Among them is a call for a government review of licensing qualifications for electrical contractors. Mr O’Connell said Mr Garrels’ death demonstrated a failure of the licensing system.
He said the contractor in charge, who he referred to police for criminal charges, was not competent.
“I was amazed to find that a licensed electrician, whose own admitted experience related to ‘fixing fans and domestic whitegoods and coldrooms’, could simply apply for an electrical contractor’s licence, which allowed him to be the responsible electrician for the wiring of an 81-lot duplex subdivision,” he said.
Two companies have been prosecuted over Mr Garrels’ death.
The government’s response to Mr O’Connell’s recommendations will be published on the Coroners Court website in due course, Mr Pitt said.