Worker burned during electrical testing

A manufacturing firm has been fined after a worker suffered a burn injury while carrying out live electrical testing.

Gordon Roberts had climbed a stepladder to remove bolted covers to gain access to the live conductors he was testing inside an electricity substation at the premises of his employer McGill Electrical Ltd in Dundee.

While he was putting back one of the covers, it appeared to come into contact with live parts, causing a flash and the room to fill with smoke, Dundee Sheriff Court was told.

Burns victim hospitalised

Mr Roberts, who was not wearing the correct protective equipment supplied to him, was thrown off the stepladder but was able to walk out of the substation unaided.

The firm’s safety manager used snow that was surrounding the substation to try to cool Mr Roberts’ injuries before an ambulance arrived.

Mr Roberts, then aged 38, suffered burns to his face, hands and arm, and spent nine days in hospital following the accident on December 2, 2010. He made a full recovery and returned to work two months later.

Insufficient risk assessment

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that McGill Electrical had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the task of removing and replacing the bolted covers while the distribution boards were live.

The firm also failed to have a safe system of work in place by not ensuring that the electricity supply to the distribution boards was de-energised during removal and replacement of the covers.

The company was fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

If you have suffered a burn injury at work, you may be eligible for compensation, and Accident Advice Helpline’s specialist solicitors can help you claim what you’re entitled to.

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