Electrical flash‑over occurred while operating an in‑line link (knife switch)

Energy type: 
Electricity
 
Event summary: 
Network contractors were working on some powerlines. During the HV switching, to isolate the area of work, one of the workers was operating an in‑line link (knife switch) which experienced an electrical flash‑over. The resulting heat from the arc burned him on the face. An ambulance was called and the worker was taken to hospital.
 
Accident ID: 
160510-05
 
Accident date: 
10 May 2016
 
Site: 
Works or Distribution
 
Environment: 
Outside (above ground)
 
Voltage: 
11000
 
Equipment: 
HV In-line Isolation Switch
 
Accident type: 
Burns
 
Casualty: 
Non-fatality
 
Injury: 
Burns
 
Property damage level: 
No property damage
 
Outcome of investigation: 

WorkSafe carried out an investigation concluding that the incident had a series of issues with processes and policies when scoping and planning the work between the network company and the involved contractors. WorkSafe is satisfied with the actions taken by the network company and contractors and concluded the investigation with a summary letter which included a number of recommendations.

WorkSafe initially issued a prohibition against the operation of this type of switch.