Electrical safety requirements
Electrical accidents can occur in any working environment, from offices to construction sites and from retail environments to factories.
For this reason, the 1974 Health & Safety at Work Act states that employers have the responsibility to ensure their employees’ health and safety. This naturally includes electrical safety.
Laws are enforced by electrical inspectors, who also provide good working practice advice and develop guidance regarding technical equipment/ working method changes.
Statistics of electrical accidents at work
According to 2011/ 2012 statistics (RIDDOR), electrical work accidents combine with explosions, fires and asphyxiation/ drowning accidents to represent one in seven fatalities among workers, although only being responsible for one in 100 non-fatal employee injuries.
Causes of electrical workplace accidents
Injuries by electrical accidents can be caused by an array of potential issues. Faulty wiring, unsafe equipment and unsafe working practices are often to blame.
Potential claims in this clip
In the video shown above, for example, an electrician working in a live panel was scared by another individual, leading him to be electrocuted. A second electrician then made the mistake to try and rescue him without killing the power first. This then lead to this person also being electrocuted.
Establishing responsibility – Determining who is responsible for this accident may prove somewhat difficult. To begin with, there is the question whether the first individual should have been working on the panel while it was still live.
Then there is the person who thought it would be funny to scary him while working on a potentially dangerous task. The third person also did not follow safe practices by attempting a rescue without turning the power to the panel off.
Claim potential – Whether a claim for compensation by either of these workers would be successful or not depends very much on a variety of factors, including whether they were given clear safety instructions.
Liability will be equally difficult to establish, as it may lie with the employer, with the person scaring the electrician or with the electrician himself.
Preventing injuries at work
Many accidents involving electricity/ electrical equipment can be avoided by following instructions of use, and observing safety rules and measures.
If you were injured at work in spite of following such instructions, rules and regulations, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline advisers will be able to determine whether a claim is justified and assist you in getting the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Date Published: October 21, 2013
Author: David Brown