Electrical Shock Horror: Company Fined After Worker’s Devastating Injuries

A company has been fined £40,000 after an electrical flash inflicted severe burns on one of its workers.

The Incident
On 12th May 2020, an employee was working on new apartments in Salford when an electrical flash blew him backwards, causing horrific burns to his arms and face.

The Failings
An HSE investigation found the company had made critical errors – failing to account for a gap in a guard panel that allowed a nut to contact live bus bars, not issuing a permit for live works, and lack of monitoring.

The Lesson
HSE inspector Lisa Bailey warned, “This incident…could have been avoided if the company had properly managed procedures and identified risks.”

She emphasized, “Working with electricity is high-risk; safety must be the priority through proper planning to eliminate risks.”

HSE guidance states employers must produce a risk assessment before working with electricity. The risk assessment must cover who could be harmed by electrical hazards, how the level of risk has been established and the precautions taken to control the risk. More on this can be found at: Electrical safety – HSE

This has been adapted from an article by the Health and Safety Executive which can be found here.

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