Contractor receives injuries when switchgear was not isolated
The company employed contract workers to undertake repairs and improvements
to their paper manufacturing plant when production was stopped. During
this time, an employee of an electrical contractor undertook an inspection
of 11,000 Volt switchgear with the authorisation of the company. The
switchgear had not been isolated and this resulted in him receiving
injuries from the live equipment. Following this incident, employees
of the factory occupier entered and worked on and in close proximity
to this live, exposed 11,000 Volt equipment without the competence to
The factory occupier was prosecuted under the Health and Safety At
Work etc. Act 1974, Section 2, Sub Section 1, and the Health and Safety
At Work etc. Act 1974, Section 3, Sub Section 1, and received a £12,500
Workers should be given enough information to allow them to work safely.
This may take the form of a toolbox talk before work commences for lower
risk activities, or may require a formal permit to work system for higher
risk activities. Workers should also be assessed to identify if they
are competent to do the work.
The downloadable HSE
booklet Electricity at work - safe working practices provides
information on how to select and instruct competent workers, and to
make decisions regarding live working.