Emergency services retrieve the body of a 16-year-old boy killed at a Stanwell house, west of Rockhampton.
Emergency services retrieve the body of a 16-year-old boy killed at a Stanwell house, west of Rockhampton. ALLAN REINIKKA AR

Workmates couldn't save teenager

TWO young workmates tried desperately to resuscitate a 16-year-old boy after he was electrocuted while installing ceiling insulation yesterday.

The electric shock knocked the teenager off the roof and into the ceiling of a Cocks Road home at Stanwell, about 25km west of Rockhampton.

The home owner rushed to disconnect power from the house as two other men installing the insulation tried to revive the Rockhampton teenager.

Ambulance officers, who were called to the emergency at 9.20am, tried for 40 minutes to resuscitate the teenager, who was announced dead at the scene.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) yesterday called for a complete halt on any ceiling insulation works until new safety protocols were put in place.

Master Electricians chief executive Malcolm Richards said on Thursday last week he had reached an agreement with the Federal Government to introduce laws that stipulated necessary training for people installing insulation.

Mr Richards said it would be an even greater tragedy if the Rockhampton teenager would have been in line to receive the training to be rolled out across Australia soon.

New laws were introduced on November 1 regarding the Federal Government’s insulation rebate scheme following the death of a man last month who was installing insulation in a Brisbane home.

ETU Central Queensland spokesman Craig Giddins said those new laws, which abolished the use of metal staples to secure foil insulation, didn’t go far enough.

He yesterday welcomed compulsory training for insulators and said all work needed to stop until that training had been completed.

“How many deaths are worth insulation?” Mr Giddins said.

“There needs to be a complete stop (of insulation work) until that training is introduced.”

Mr Giddins said at a minimum there needed to be a qualified electrician inspect a ceiling and give an all clear before insulation work started.

He said he believed the teenager was electrocuted as he poked insulation into place using a metal rod.

“A 16-year-old’s life has been cut short because there were no proper safety procedures,” Mr Giddins said.

“Some houses are 40 to 50 years old and never had any electrical remedial work done in that time.

“It is very concerning and if the government doesn’t do something about it or call a complete halt there is going to be more deaths.”

The Rockhampton company that employed the teenager declined to comment yesterday.

Police had not released the boy’s name on Wednesday.

Anyone wishing to pay tribute to the teenager can call reporter Kieran Campbell on 4930 4253.



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