WA power utility fined $75,000 over error

Western Power has been fined $75,000 and warned about “systemic failures” after a connection error caused three Perth homes to become live with dangerous levels of electricity.

Workers for the utility were replacing a power pole in Yokine in February 2018, which involved disconnecting then later reconnecting the electricity supply for nearby properties.

A linesman, who had not received formal training on multiple master meters, connected the line neutral cable to the wrong location and the excessive voltage resulted in almost $5500 damage to appliances.

Western Power was sentenced in Perth Magistrates Court last month after pleading guilty to breaching the state’s electricity regulations.

The magistrate acknowledged Western Power had implemented changes since the incident, but factoring in other historical breaches, said management should have addressed systemic failures in training, supervision, processes and testing procedures.

Energy Safety director Saj Abdoolakhan said it was fortunate only equipment was damaged.

“Someone could have easily received a fatal electric shock from the dangerous conditions,” he said on Monday.

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