Northpower Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
27 May 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$30,000

Safety lessons learned:
  1. To have ensured an adequate site specific risk assessment was undertaken for this berm substation;
  2. The work at the Old Karori Road substation should have been undertaken with the substation de-energised.

Defendant name:
Northpower Limited
 
Industry:
Energy, Water services
 
Date of offence:
27 May 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The defendant was contracted to carry out maintenance and fault restoration on the electrical network owned by Wellington Electricity Lines Limited.

On 27 May 2014, a trainee worker for the defendant was the victim of an arc flash event caused during the decommissioning of bias panel equipment at a berm substation. The decommissioning work was conducted adjacent to live components. The victim supported the bias-panel transformer while another worker unbolted it. As the victim moved the transformer a support bracket behind it became dislodged and fell into the live 400V terminal connections. This resulted in an arc flash; a short circuit which releases an uncontrolled burst of energy.

The victim was seriously harmed, sustaining deep burns to the thigh and superficial burns to the face, buttocks and upper legs.
 
Related prosecutions:
 
Offence section:
Section 163D(1)(a) of the Electricity Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Wellington - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$30,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$6,000