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Electrician received electric shock from a bare cable

What happened?

An electrician received an electric shock whilst running a new cable through an existing cable tray. While retrieving the cable, his hand touched the bare end of live cable which was in the cable tray. As a precautionary measure, he had a medical evaluation at an onshore medical facility and received a full clearance to return to work.

What went wrong?

  • The cable had apparently been installed and secured at the time of vessel construction and was found coiled and secured in the cable tray with plastic cable ties;
  • The wire end of the cable was not covered; it was cut flush with cable jacket and was labelled ‘spare’.

What were the causes?

  • A live or energised wire installed during the build phase was hidden from view in a cable tray;
  • The wire was incorrectly labelled;
  • The energised wire was installed and labelled as a heater in the electrical panel with the breaker engaged in the on or closed position, but the end of the wire marked as a ‘spare’.

What actions were taken? What lessons were learned?

  • Our member conducted an onsite ‘Cable Verification Campaign’ – all accessible cable trays were checked. All spare cables and wires were tagged and identified;
  • Ensure relevant checks are performed during the new build phase;
  • Have a thorough pre-inspection of a work area where cables are present, and notify relevant personnel of any anomalies;
  • Ensure relevant permit to work (PTW)/isolations are in place.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 30 October 2018
Download: IMCA SF 24/18

Relevant life-saving rules:
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