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Electrical fitters injuries result in amputation when he believed he was working in a safe zone

The employee, an electrical fitter received 33,000 Volt burns when he climbed live apparatus in a substation when he believed it to be within a safe working zone. His injuries resulted in amputation of both arms. The company were found not to have adequate arrangements for the demarcation of safe working zones and the monitoring of zones once established was not adequately practiced. The training of staff in the setting out of zones was poor. Company had used national distribution rules as the basis of their procedures but failed to elaborate on the guidance of those rules.

Action

The employer was prosecuted under the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974, Section 3, Sub Section 1 and fined £50,000.

Comment

Employers should ensure that working methods, materials, equipment and worker training meet the standards set out in good practice guidelines. Guidelines for many common tasks are generally readily available, but often need to be modified so that they are suitable for particular tasks.

The free HSE leaflet Controlling the risks in the workplace provides guidance on how to produce risk assessments that are suitable for each work activity.

Updated 2012-12-06