Our 2022 annual report analysing trends and highlighting risks in electrical and gas accidents.
Read the executive summary and download the full report.
Overview of 2022
During 2022, 3 notifiable and 22 non-notifiable accidents1 in New Zealand were reported to WorkSafe’s Energy Safety team comprising of:
- 2 notifiable and 12 non-notifiable LPG accidents which altogether resulted in no fatality but injuries to 2 people
- 1 notifiable and 10 non-notifiable natural gas accidents, which altogether resulted in no fatality but injury to 1 person
- not a single electrical notifiable accident (non-fire) was reported during 2022 which is a first time in the last 30 years.
High-risk groups 1993–2022
Since 1993, electrical and gas (natural and LPG) accidents in New Zealand have been analysed according to high risk groups to provide information about trends, frequency, common causes and severity.
The previously known general public accidents (1993–2008), and all public electrical accidents investigated since 2009 by Energy Safety, are aggregated as a single electrical accident category to enable analysis.
Two categories of particular interest are accidents involving young people and electrical safety in domestic residential environments.
Young people (17 years old and under)
Since 1993 these young people were involved in 36% (105) of the total general public accidents (291), involving 18 fatalities and injury to 97 people.
More than 55% of the accidents involving the general public in the last 30 years occurred in a domestic environment, resulting in 31 fatalities (61%) and injuries to 132 people (51%).
Natural gas accidents
In the last 30 years, a total of 214 notifiable natural gas accidents and 653 non-notifiable accidents were reported to Energy Safety.
Cookers and ovens
A total of 38 (18%) notifiable natural gas accidents involved cookers or ovens. Twelve of 38 cooker or oven accidents resulted in 1 fatality and injury to 14 people.
Cookers and ovens accounted for 76 (12%) of reported non-notifiable natural gas accidents.
A total of 58 (27%) notifiable natural gas accidents involved space heaters. Of these, 14 notifiable space heaters accidents resulted in 3 fatalities and injury to 13 people.
Space heaters accounted for 133 (20%) of reported non-notifiable accidents.
Water heaters and boilers
A total of 71 (33%) notifiable natural gas accidents reported involved water heaters or boilers. Of these, 17 resulting in 1 fatality and injury to 20 people.
Water heaters and boilers also accounted for 39 (6% of) reported non-notifiable accidents.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
In the last 30 years, a total of 453 notifiable LPG accidents and 616 non-notifiable accidents were reported to Energy Safety.
Cookers and ovens
Of the 453 notifiable LPG accidents reported, 132 (29%) involved cookers or ovens. Out of the 132 notifiable accidents involving cookers or ovens, 98 resulted in 17 fatalities and injury to 129 people.
Cookers and ovens accounted for 103 (17%) of reported non-notifiable LPG accidents.
There were 143 (32%) notifiable LPG accidents reported that involved cabinet heaters. Out of these, 66 accidents resulted in 13 fatalities and injury to 67 people.
Cabinet heaters accounted for 173 (28%) of reported non-notifiable accidents.
There were 26 (6%) notifiable accidents reported that involved LPG refillable containers. This resulted in 16 container accidents that caused four fatalities and injured 20 people.
Refillable containers accounted for 89 (15%) of reported non-notifiable accidents.
Caravans and campervans
There were 48 (11%) out of the 453 notifiable LPG accidents that occurred in caravans or campervans. Of these, 35 caused 11 fatalities and injured 41 people.
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