Employee burnt whilst breaking concrete
An employee was using a jack hammer to break concrete to enable the
removal of a gate post. As he was doing this, the jack hammer hit an
underground 415 Volt electric cable and he received minor burns to his
face. Plans showing the location of cables had not been used. He had
received inadequate information, instruction & training for working
near live 415 Volt cables. Injuries could have been much more serious.
The employer was prosecuted under The Electricity at Work Regulations
1989 (No 4) paragraph 3 and fined.
- Before undertaking excavation work, plans of the services in the
area should be obtained.
- It may be possible to ensure that electrical and other service supplies
are turned off for the duration of the work if there is a risk that
they will be disturbed.
- If supplies are turned off, action should be taken to ensure they
are securely isolated for the duration of the work.
- Workers should be trained what to do when a service is found during
HSE booklet Avoiding danger from underground services gives guidance
on how to work near underground services.