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Electrical apprentice safety and LOTO

ESV’s electrical apprentice safety campaign was launched in response to a rise in incidents and fatalities of young electrical workers.

Between 2015 and 2018, ESV’s electrical installation safety team investigated five electrical worker fatalities, three were apprentices and four were under 25 years of age.

In January 2018, a 29-year-old licensed electrical worker died whilst working near live parts. And tragically, in August 2020 another licensed electrician was electrocuted while installing cable to a powerpoint without de-energising the electrical supply. WorkSafe issued a Safety Alert following this fatality.

Key messages

  • Never work live
  • Test before you touch
  • Lock out tag out (LOTO)
  • Always provide effective supervision to apprentices and electrical workers

Apprentice LOTO Kit campaign

In October 2020, ESV commenced rolling out our Apprentice Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) Kits, for the fourth consecutive year. This year, the rollout of kits to apprentices has been delayed due to the impact of restrictions across Victoria to suppress the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This program is an initiative to help apprentices understand the importance of following safe work practices and using appropriate safety equipment on the job. ESV recommends the use of low voltage insulating (LV) gloves on the job where there is a risk of accidental contact with live parts, such as when testing or fault finding, the application of lock out devices and using a danger tag to notify others.

This year, apprentices may have their kits sent directly or receive them through their RTO as training organisations open when restrictions are eased.

Each apprentice LOTO kit contains:

  • one pair of low voltage insulating gloves
  • the ESV LOTO safety guide
  • a starter Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) Kit with:
    • 3 Danger Do Not Remove LOTO tags
    • Universal fuse lockout
    • Universal fuse lockout (pin out)
    • Universal circuit breaker lockout
    • Safety lockout padlock
    • A permanent pen

Apprentices to complete survey and watch videos

Apprentices are advised to watch our safety videos (refer below) and sign for their LOTO kit if handed out by their RTO.

We ask all apprentices receiving a LOTO kit from ESV to register and complete our initial survey on their understanding of the LOTO practices and how they are implementing them in their work as an apprentice. You can use this QR code:

LOTO Kit Survey QR code 2020

RTO educators

First year apprentices are to provide their name and sign the LOTO receipt form then complete the survey online.  In the survey they must enter their email address.

Apprentice and supervisor safety videos

ESV’s Electrical Installations Safety (EIS) team has developed a presentation on electrical safety for first year apprentices and another for supervisors of young electrical workers. Both videos are available on our YouTube channel – Apprentices and Supervisors

Read the Requirements for the effective supervision of apprentice electricians.

Electrical safety for apprentices

Electrical safety for supervisors of apprentices and workers

Use of gloves in assessments

From 1 January 2019, candidates attempting the Safe Working Practice (SWP) and Restricted Licence Class 2 assessments will be required to use gloves during their assessment. This requirement includes both low voltage insulating (LV) gloves compliant with AS2225, and fire resistant outer gloves for mechanical protection.

The use of gloves has already been a requirement of the Restricted Licence Class 1 Fault Finding and Switchgear Workers Licence assessments for some time.

Candidates must supply their own gloves for the assessment.

Gloves are to be used when the risk of accidental contact with live parts is possible, including when live terminals are exposed for testing. Once isolation has been proven, and the circuit locked out and tagged out (LOTO), the gloves may be removed. There is no penalty if the candidate chooses to leave their gloves on for the entirety of the assessment.

For more information about the use of gloves in assessments, chat to your RTO or contact ESV on the email and phone numbers below.

Contact ESV

All electrical workers, including apprentices, can contact ESV to find out more about electrical safety and safe work practices.

For electrical technical questions, call (03) 9203 9700 and select option 2, or email electricalinstallationenquiries@energysafe.vic.gov.au.

To report an immediate safety concern or electrical incident call 1800 000 922.

For other concerns or general queries, email info@energysafe.vic.gov.au.