Worker in grave condition after electrocution

PATONG: In a dramatic accident that took place in full public view, a young man was electrocuted and severely injured on Monday afternoon while hanging off the side of the Thaweewong Rd Post Office, welding a new sign.

A bolt of high-voltage electricity shot through Roong-atit Piboon, 18, from Surat Thani, after he swung his arc welder and accidentally touched an uninsulated power cable.

K. Roong-atit was hanging by a safety harness from a metal railing attached to the second story of the building, working on the sign below. When he was electrocuted, the harness prevented him from falling, and he slumped, unconscious, over the sign.

Kathu police immediately called the Kusoldham Rescue Foundation, members of which climbed onto the roof of an adjacent bar, brought K. Roong-atit down and rushed him to hospital.

Panya Song-la-or, a worker with the foundation, later told the Gazette, “He was still slumped over the advertising sign, supported by his safety harness, when we arrived. His clothes were still burning.”

K. Roong-atit was taken first to Patong Hospital for emergency first aid and then transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Theera Phrueksanan, Manager of the Patong Electricity Office, told the Gazette, “The accident was caused by negligence. The worker swung his welder and it touched a wire that was not protected by insulating covers.”

The power authority, he explained, provided and installed insulating covers, but workers were supposed to move them as they worked, so as to be continually protected.

“These covers are movable but the proper safety procedure was not observed. They should have been put in place near the working area for maximum protection. A circuit breaker cut the power [after K. Roong-atit touched the cable] but the damage was already done.”

K. Roong-atit is presently listed as being in a “grave” condition with severe burns and possible internal injuries.

Phuket News

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