A man found dead on a mechanic's crawler at his work late last year was electrocuted because he did not use a residual current device (RCD).
A coroner's report has shown 64-year-old Philip John Mahoney's death could have been avoided had he used a simple RCD designed to trip at 30 milliamps.
Mr Mahoney was found dead with acute electrical burns to his left palm on October 31. He was using a portable lamp to help illuminate the area he was working in underneath a truck, but there was an exposed phase conductor on the lamp lead and a faulty crawler that contributed in creating a current and fatal electrical shock.
A department of labour inspector said two scenarios were likely. The first would be that his hand had touched the frame of the crawler which was live, due to its exposure to the conductor, or he touched the exposed cables themselves with his hand.
He said the portable lamp had posed a "serious hazard" and should have been removed from the workplace.
Mr Mahoney was working at Sprinter Baywide Freight in Napier. While the switchboard at the workshop did not meet current regulations, it did not cause or contribute to Mr Mahoney's death. On November 3, the inspector served a Notice of Improvement to the company, noting a number of issues with the switchboard and provided detailed steps to remedy them.
In his report, Coroner CJ Devonport recommended extending regulations around the use of RCDs to all commercial and industrial sites where hand held appliances are used.