WorkCover NSW has issued a warning about the dangers of exposure to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).


The warning follows the death of an apprentice plumber and gas fitter who was working alone on the connection of a new gas installation when he cut a live gas line, releasing LPG that filled the trench in which was working.


He became unconscious and later died as a result of asphyxiation.


The work involved tapping into an existing LPG reticulation system, inserting a T junction and running a gas line into a home. A hole had been dug to access the existing underground line and while reaching head first into the hole to sever the line, the plumber was exposed to an LPG-rich atmosphere. The displacement of oxygen by the LPG led to unconsciousness, asphyxiation and eventual death by arrhythmia (disruption to the heart rhythm).