Individual or Team Actions » LTA testing equipment

66Trailing Cable Coupler – Electrical Accident

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Brief Description of Incident/Accident & Description of Consequences/Outcomes:

An electrician had been carrying out repairs to a coupler used to join trailing cables supplying power to an underground development drilling jumbo. With the supply cable inserted and the outgoing cable removed, the tradesman elected to prove the effectiveness of the repair by connecting a home made “diode test lead” between the pilot contact pin and the earthed body of the coupler. As a consequence, the coupler became energised at 415 volt, an arcing fault developed, and the resultant flash caused burns to the electrician’s hands and face.

Identified Root Causes:

The accident was caused by adopting an unsafe work practice. In doing so, the electrician exposed himself to hazards associated with work in close proximity to “live” parts.

Energy Type(s) Involved:

Electric shock, electrocution or severe burns

Equipment Type(s):

Trailing Cable

Root & Contributing Cause(s):

LTA hazard identification

LTA maintenance work method

LTA testing

LTA testing equipment

LTA work method

Stated or Potential Consequence(s):

Potential Fatality

Preventative/Recommended/Accepted Steps of Risk Mitigation, Points of Interest:

The accident could have been avoided had an appropriate purpose designed and commercially available test plug been used. Alternatively, the circuit could have been tested in a more conventional manner using an electrician’s ohmmeter with the power source disconnected.

Employers and electrical workers are reminded that the use of improvised equipment for the testing of trailing cable systems is hazardous.

Duty of Care provisions under the Mines Regulation Act 1946 includes a requirement for safe systems of work to be implemented.


Government of Western Australia, Department of Mines and Petroleum


Here are the results.


Reference Type:

Significant Incident Report #50

Mine Type:

Any Mine Type







Australia, Western Australia

ICAM Categories

Organisational Factors


Task or Environmental Conditions


Individual or Team Actions

• LTA commissioning procedures

• LTA equipment

• LTA hazard analysis/job safety analysis

• LTA hazard identification

• LTA testing

• LTA testing equipment

• LTA work method

Failed or Absent Defences


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