Delta Utility Services Limited

Court Summary - at a glance

Date of offence:
24 November 2014
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Final decision date:
 
Fine imposed:
$35,000

Safety lessons learned:

Ensure an effective policy is in place for the control of the hazard of exposure to low-voltage electricity, including requiring elimination as the primary control.

Defendant name:
Delta Utility Services Limited
 
Industry:
Energy
 
Date of offence:
24 November 2014
 
Facts in brief:
The Defendant company is the asset manager, operator, maintenance provider and distribution network which carries electricity from the national grid to consumers in Dunedin and Central Otago.

On the day of the incident, landowners in the Cardrona Valley were in the process of having the overhead lines on their property replaced with underground cables which would run from a new metre which would be connected to existing overhead lines at the top of a pole.

The victim, then employed by the Defendant as a line mechanic, was at the property to complete the connection. The victim ascended a ladder to carry out work at the top of the pole. The ladder was not tied to the pole. The victim did not disconnect the power supply before working on the line. He started the task of connecting the neutral wire to the main wire by way of parallel groove clamp using an adjustable crescent. As the victim attempted to tighten the clamp with the crescent he made contact with the line causing a low voltage arc.

The resulting arc and flashover caused the victim to fall from the ladder to the ground, approximately 6 metres below. He suffered compound tibia and fibula fractures to his left leg and a fractured L2 lumbar vertebra.
 
Offence section:
Section 6 and section 50(1)(a) of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992
 
Date charged:

Court:
Queenstown - District Court
 
Plea:
Guilty
 
Final decision date:
 
Decision:
Convicted
 
Fine imposed:
$35,000
 
Maximum fine available:
$250,000
 
Reparation:
$49,600