Electrical injuries in Queensland: Patterns, circumstances, attitudes and opportunities for intervention

The true extent of electrical incidents (including near miss and incidents resulting in injury) is unknown in Queensland and across Australia more broadly as there is limited data compiled across systems to enable estimation. Safety regulators have routine access to data on the number of reported Serious Electrical Incidents (SEI’s) and Fatalities in the State, however the extent of compliance with reporting of SEI’s is unknown and hasn’t been systematically investigated. The aims of this project are to:

  1. Develop a comprehensive database of linked ambulance, emergency department, hospitalisation, fatality, workplace incident, workers compensation and electrical incident data for electrical injuries in Queensland;
  2. Produce a detailed injury report which describes the circumstances, product involvement, frequency, severity, outcomes, patterns and trends over a five year period (2011-2015);
  3. Identify extent and patterns of under-reporting of notifiable serious electrical incidents;
  4. Undertake a literature review to summarise key theories, models and frameworks to understand consumer decision making and safety messaging and approaches of other regulators;
  5. Undertake focus groups and a consumer survey to understand consumers’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in relation to electrical issues with a high risk of injury;
  6. Develop and test safety messaging concepts to identify effective methods to change consumers’ safety behaviours related to electrical product hazards;
  7. Provide recommendations for future monitoring and surveillance of electrical injuries in Queensland;
  8. Provide recommendations for consumer/product safety intervention strategies based on the findings from the research.

Funding / Grants

  • Electrical Safety Office, Queensland Government (2017 - 2020)

Other Team Members

This project also includes researchers from QUT's School of Public Health and Social Work.