Master Electricians Australia  has welcomed the announcement of the Federal Government’s Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program. The Commission will look into the tragic deaths of four young men, three of them by electrocution.

MEA chief executive Malcolm Richards urged the Commission to look to the future, and seek ways to ensure the tragedies were not repeated in the future.

Master Electricians Australia would ask the Commission to recommend more widespread use of safety switches on electrical circuits, in line with the recommendation of the Queensland Coroner handed down in July this year.

Mr Richards explains a safety switch can cut the flow of power to a circuit in less than three one hundreds of the second in the event of an electric shock – faster than the critical phase of a heart beat. If safety switches had been installed on the affected circuits of those homes, it’s most likely three of these young men would be alive today.

Many Australian homes have safety switches on their power circuits, and some even have protection for the lighting circuit, but very few have all circuits covered. According to Mr Richards, this is a very simple measure that would add very little to the cost of a new home, and could be retrofitted into existing homes when they are sold or rented.

Without significant cost imposition, State Governments across Australia could take a very big step towards saving around 15 lives per year, and preventing the hospitalisation of another 300 people annually.

MEA will seek to present evidence to the Royal Commission supporting safety switches, and hope for the same strong recommendations that were made by the Queensland Coroner.