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Electrician suffered shock when electrical supply had not been properly isolated

Inadequate isolation

An electrician received a severe electric shock whilst carrying out building refurbishment and fitting out work in a new estates office. The electrical supply had not been properly isolated. Investigation revealed there was no management system in place to check precautions for electrical work.

Action

The company was prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Section 2(1) and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, regulation 14. They were fined.

Comment

It is the responsibility of those in control of work activities to direct those work activities such that the risks are reduced 'so far as is reasonably practicable'. This requires, amongst other things, that work is properly planned and that safety precautions are taken. Electricity supplies should be made dead and proved to be dead before work is commenced, and the method of isolation should prevent inadvertent or deliberate re-energisation of the electrical system.

The Electrical Safety Council: Guidance on the management of electrical safety and safe isolation procedures for low voltage installations provides guidance on appropriate methods for carrying out and securing isolations

Updated 2012-12-06