Electrician was injured touching live equipment
An apprentice electrician was severely injured when he touched live
equipment whilst doing work to install ceiling fans in a substation.
His employer failed to adequately control the system of work where there
were exposed live bus bars. There was no safe system of work, the supervision
was inadequate, and the management of the activity was left to an electrician
who had insufficient experience to do the job safely. No attempt was
made to get the electricity distribution company to screen the live
The employer of the apprentice electrician was prosecuted under the
Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974, Section 2, Sub Section 1 and
fined £30,000. The supervising electrician and owner of the substation
were also prosecuted under the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974,
Section 3, Sub Section 1.
Before allowing work to start, those in control should identify the
hazards present, the risks posed by the hazards, and the control measures
needed to reduce the risks so far as is reasonably practicable. They
should implement the control measures in the system of work and communicate
this with the workers. The continuing effectiveness of the control measures
should be assessed throughout the work and the work should be stopped
if the control measures fail to control the risk.
Those in control of work activities should ensure that workers have
suitable competence to do the work safely.
The downloadable HSE leaflet
Controlling the risks in the workplace
provides guidance on how to produce risk assessments that are suitable
for each work activity. The downloadable leaflet
Electrical switchgear and safety
and the downloadable booklet
Keeping electrical switchgear safe provide guidance on safe working
near electrical switchgear. The downloadable HSE booklet Electricity at work - safe working practices provides information on how to select and instruct competent workers.