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Shock received after incorrectly wiring a machine

A person received severe electric shock injuries after incorrectly wiring a machine, which resulted in the machine frame becoming live. The injured person was not competent to undertake such work, yet competent persons were available.

Action

The company was prosecuted under Regulation 16 of the Electricity At Work Regulations, 1989 and entered a guilty plea. Mitigation relied on improvements since the accident including the appointment of a safety officer. Magistrates considered this to be a serious accident but gave credit for early plea and improvements. The company was fined and ordered to pay costs.

Comment

Those in control of work activities should ensure that workers are competent to undertake them.

The downloadable HSE booklet Electricity at work - safe working practices and the Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations provides guidance on competence.

Updated 2010-09-22