Company fined $150,000 over fatal air conditioner electrocution

A company specialising in air-conditioner installations was recently fined following an incident in which a worker was electrocuted due to the company’s failure to adhere to electrical safety requirements.

The Queensland-based company was found guilty of failing to comply with an electrical safety duty, exposing individuals to the risk of death or serious injury. 

The incident occurred in September 2020 at a veterinary clinic in Capalaba where the company was contracted to replace an air-conditioning unit.

The incident involved a long-standing employee who had worked for the company for 15 years and lost his life while installing an air conditioner.

The worker’s electrical licence had expired, and the job required installation work, including relocating isolators on the air conditioners.

The magistrate presiding over the sentencing at Cleveland Magistrates Court emphasised the defendant’s failure to manage electrical risks and the profound impact on the deceased worker’s family. 

The court acknowledged the steps undertaken by the defendant post-incident to improve safety procedures, including the engagement of a third-party consultant for a comprehensive safety review.

The company was fined $150,000, with additional costs of $1500, and no conviction was recorded.