Jason Garrels, 20, died after being electrocuted while working on a building site in Clermont in February 2012.
Jason Garrels, 20, died after being electrocuted while working on a building site in Clermont in February 2012. Contributed

‘Immediate danger’ on site flagged days before electrocution

AN ELECTRICAL inspector found "immediate dangers" at a building site 13 days before a young man was electrocuted.

However Douglas Hawley didn't shut down the electricity. He told an inquest into the death of Jason Garrels he didn't have the authority to do that.

Mr Hawley also didn't call anyone who did have the authority to turn off the electricity to the building site.

Mr Hawley told the court he issued a protection notice, which required the immediate rectification of the issues.

Electrician Nathan Day, who wasn't on site when the inspection occurred on February 14 in 2012, was given seven days to fix the defaults, which was then extended until February 27 the day Jason died.

The 20-year-old, who was hired as a builder's labourer, was electrocuted while moving a temporary switchboard.

The inquest, which began in Mackay on Monday, has raised a number of questions about Mr Day's work. Power to the temporary switchboard hadn't been isolated and conduit hadn't been installed properly so it slipped down and wired were exposed.

There were also questions over whether Mr Day had installed the appropriate safety switches in the main switchboard.

Mr Hawley told the court, during his inspection, he noticed a number of power leads which had been joined together, which should not be done because it resulted in a voltage drop and extended the time a safety switch kicked in.

There were also posts with boxes mounted on them that were "live". Mr Hawley agreed that if someone put their hand in the box they would have received a shock.

Central Queensland Coroner David O'Connell asked Mr Hawley why the power wasn't shut off until it had been fixed

"You're an inspector with a lot of experience aren't you?" Mr O'Connell said.

Inspector made no specific time to revisit site

AN ELECTRICAL inspector had no plans to revisit the site where he earlier found 'immediate dangers'.

He issued both improvement and protection notices in relation to the site for the defaults to be rectified.

However, a coronial Inquest was told he hadn't made a specific time to go back to the Clermont building site to ensure the faults had been fixed because it required travel.



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