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RR771 - Identifying the incidence of electricity-related accidents in Great Britain

This report describes a pan-industry study into the risks associated with electricity-related accidents. This report forms a preliminary evidence base.

A data set has been built containing accidents involving people working with or around electricity. This set contains 57,000 accidents reported under RIDDOR between 1996/97 and 2002/03. This data has been incorporated into the Electricity RIDDOR Report Tool, and is used to provide an insight into the key risks where future risk controls may best be targeted, and a baseline from which future improvements may be measured.

The largest number of electricity-related accidents is reported in the electrical installation and construction industries. Electrical fitters have been involved in significantly more electricity-related accidents than other occupations.

Handling/sprains and trips are reported most frequently. Low falls, being struck by falling objects and high falls also feature highly. Accidents involving contact with electricity are the fourth most frequently reported accident kind. Contact with electricity is the most significant source of fatal injury accidents in this data set; being involved in more fatal injury accidents than the other accident kinds combined. These contact accidents involved a number of agents including plant, domestic appliances and underground cables.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-15