3 deaths linked to faulty outdoor water coolers in Oman last year

Fatal electrocutions blamed on faulty outdoor water-coolers claimed three lives in separate mishaps reported around the Sultanate last year, according to the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) Oman.

The tragic incidents, although unrelated to electricity sector activities, prompted a vigorous awareness campaign spearheaded by the regulator and supported by power distribution companies, about the hazards associated with defective electrical appliances.

All three victims were boys who were electrocuted when drinking water from outdoor dispensers, the Authority said.  While the first mishap occurred in Salalah in May last year, the second and third incidents were reported in Yanqul and Ibri respectively, in Dhahirah Governorate.

A public health and safety campaign mounted by the Authority and other utilities is still ongoing. “Working with the sector companies, the campaign raised public awareness about the risk of electric water coolers and aimed to reduce such unfortunate incidents. Several initiatives were included in the campaign, such as approaching government entities that own water coolers in public areas to inspect the safety of their water coolers and eradicate electrocution risks,” the Authority noted in its newly published 2019 Annual Report.

“Recommendations for communication through channels such as TV and radio, newspapers and social media to advise the public and raise awareness about how to ensure electric water coolers are installed safely were put forward,” it further stated.