HSE penalises electrical safety failure

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has highlighted the risks associated with electrical safety in a case where a North London labourer received life-threatening burn injuries in an explosion when he severed a 415-volt electrical cable, unaware it was still live, a court has heard.

The worker was removing electrical equipment from a basement wall believing it all to be safely disconnected, when the explosion happened. He suffered severe and extensive burns to his limbs, body and face, was in an induced coma in intensive care for two weeks, and in hospital for several more. He still has long-term psychological problems and persistent pain.

Following an investigation, the HSE prosecuted his employer for safety failings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £9,882 in costs after admitting a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations.

After the case, HSE Inspector Stephron Baker Holmes said: “It would have been a straightforward matter to provide suitable warning notices and barriers in this case, and it is likely these simple measures would have prevented an incident like this from happening.”

Full story at press.hse.gov.uk/2014

HSE penalises electrical safety failure