- Building and Energy releases independent report into tragic electric shock incident
- Government to launch awareness campaign to report electric shocks
- Installation of advanced metering infrastructure will improve early warning potential
Independent regulator Building and Energy has released its final report into the March 2018 incident that led to the near-fatal electrical shocking of Denishar Woods at her Beldon home.
Metallurgical experts helped Building and Energy prepare the report, which found the shock resulted from the failure of a neutral mains conductor - although it could not conclusively determine how it failed.
Following the incident, the State Government supported Denishar and her family with assistance that included:
- An act of grace payment of $1,000,000;
- An act of grace payment of up to $100,000 for a modified vehicle (and associated costs) suitable for transporting Denishar in a wheelchair;
- The Department of Communities has provided free rent, modifications to their existing home and is covering the costs for the construction of a new purpose built home; and
- Establishing a specific cost centre, administered by the Department of Communities, to fund expenses not covered by existing services.
Since the incident, the State Government has allocated $61 million for the installation of advanced metering infrastructure, which will be live from mid-2020. This will include a program to detect electrical shock warning signs.
Additionally, Western Power, Horizon Power and Building and Energy are developing a public campaign to educate the community on what to do when they experience electric shocks and tingles.
To view the report, visit https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications
Comments attributed to Energy Minister Bill Johnston:
"The safety awareness campaign, expected to start by the end of this year, will help reduce the risk of another similar tragic electric shock occurring.
"I urge anyone who experiences shocks or tingles from fittings in their homes to call Western Power immediately on 13 13 51 or, for those located outside the South West Interconnected System, to call Horizon Power on 13 23 51.
"Installing advanced metering infrastructure is an important step forward to improving our network, Western Power will install 238,000 advanced meters over the next four years."
Comments attributed to Housing Minister Peter Tinley:
"When this tragic accident happened the State Government pledged to do all it could to support Denishar and her family and also all it could to get to the bottom of the incident to ensure it cannot happen again.
"The report released by the independent investigator has been as meticulous and thorough as possible and as a result of its findings the State Government has put in place a range of initiatives to improve community safety and to support Denishar and her family."
Energy Minister's office - 6552 6700
Housing Minister's office - 6552 5300