Why are electricians getting injured? This Scottish firm found out- at a cost

by Alex on November 27, 2013

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Photo: Cory Doctorow

Failing to carry out sufficient health and safety measures can have hefty consequences, as a Tayside electrical company recently discovered.

The Scottish firm was fined £2,000 after an employee suffered severe burns during live electrical testing inside a manufacturing plant’s electricity substation. The 38-year-old worker was replacing a bolted cover he had removed to access live conductors when the cover came into contact with the live parts, causing an arc flash that burned his face, hands and arms.

An HSE investigation discovered that the worker was not wearing suitable protective equipment, which could have easily prevented these injuries.

According to HSE data, electricians and electrical fitters have the fourth highest rate of non-fatal major injury among all construction occupations, with 122 accidents reported in the 2012/13 period. While this means that only around one in a thousand electricians suffered a major injury during the year, preventable accidents like this one are still occurring. But why?

As the investigation later reported, the firm had not taken adequate steps to mitigate risk on-site. According to inspectors, a sufficient risk assessment had not been carried out, and the firm had failed to put in place a safe system of work when removing and replacing the covers.

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Avoid preventable injuries and unnecessary fines. Try HANDS HQ– health and safety made easy.


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