Electrical Injuries at Work
Most people work with some form of electricity ranging from those who use electrical devices and appliances as part of their everyday job to those who have direct contact such as electricians.
Main Causes of Electrical Accidents
We can all be at risk of electrical accidents but some places of work can be riskier than others. Those who experience more exposure increase the risk of an accident happening if health and safety guidelines are not implemented and adhered to. Examples of workers most at risk include those who work for electrical companies, construction sites and industrial environments.
Some of the main causes of electrical accidents:
- Poorly maintained electrical equipment
- Unchecked electrical appliances
- Faulty or exposed wiring
- Defective equipment
- Coming into contact with an electrical power source e.g. overhead cables
- Electricity not being turned off during maintenance work
- Appliances that haven’t been grounded properly
- Lack of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Lack of safety information
- Lack of satisfactory training
Unfortunately, these can lead to a number of injuries occurring to a worker including:
- Electric shocks
- Electric burns
- Burn injuries from overheating, electrical fires or explosions
- Muscle spasms
- Broken bones due to violent muscles spasms
- Dislocations due to violent muscle spasms
- Cardiac Arrest
- Nerve damage
Whilst it is an employer’s duty by law to protect the health and safety of its employees, workers should never be complacent when dealing with electricity. Employees should report any electrical issues they discover such as exposed wire, a faulty product or any situation they think puts themselves or others at risk. Any warning or danger signs should be noted and if health and safety controls or policies have been put in place, these should be followed. You should always use common sense and apply basic electrical safety knowledge such as not overloading sockets and only using an appliance for its intended purpose.
It is an employer’s responsibility to protect their employees, as far as is practically possible, from anything which may put their health and safety at risk. Electrical safety is paramount and employers should take several steps to reduce the risk of electrical accidents occurring.
- Assessing the risks of electrical accident
- Ensuring an action plan put in place if findings show any increased risks
- Putting controls in place to enhance electrical safety
- Consider exposure levels and how these can be reduced or eliminated. Work should be conducted away from electrical wiring wherever possible.
2) Ensure all electrical equipment is maintained and in a good condition:
- Provide Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) for all portable items in the workplace including equipment that employees may use in the field or for homeworking. This assesses these appliances and devices for any damage to cables and plugs, signs of overheating, wire insulation where visible, loose screws and parts, and any damage to switches. The appliance is then labelled for safe us.
3) Ensure any working area is safe to work in:
- Avoid dangerous exposure by eliminating risks
- Successfully identify electrical sources including wiring, overhead cables and underground cables. Electrical installation maps can help with this
- Identify any electrical warning signs already in the area
- Using a cable detector when digging and permanently marking these areas for the entirety of the job
- Ensuring electricity is off when working near power supplies and wiring
- Putting up signs where there are live electrical circuits to warn others
- Use suitable electrical equipment for the job
- Erect barriers at an appropriate distance away with warning signs so that others avoid exposure risk
4) Provide appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- Ensuring PPE is assessed and fit for purpose before use
- Proper maintenance and storage of PPE
- Training and guidance for staff
5) Provide employees with the correct training:
- How to report a faulty product or anything which comprises electrical safety if they identify a hazard
- What PPE needs to be worn and for what tasks
- What warning and hazard signs mean
- Appropriate emergency training and procedures in place
Can I Make a Claim?
If you have had an electrical accident caused by a failure by your employer to uphold the correct health and safety regulations, you may be able to make a claim. Your accident needs to have been within the last 3 years in order to claim. If you have been injured in an incident relating to an electrical fault or appliance in the workplace that wasn’t your fault, Injury Lawyers UK can help you.
Injury Lawyers UK Can Help
Here at Injury Lawyers UK, we have a team of experienced lawyers who have years of experience in winning cases for individuals who have been injured due to circumstances out of their hands. One of our fantastic team of legal advisers will initially take you through the process to advise whether your case for compensation should be pursued or not.
Your understanding of the process is paramount to us. We speak in clear and plain English so you are not overwhelmed by legal jargon. We understand that what you have suffered is not just the physical injury. It also includes the emotional trauma to both you and your family, any loss of past and future earnings and the rehabilitation services you need to access. All this is taken into account when pursuing compensation.
We operate a no win no fee policy meaning that you do not need to pay us anything unless we successfully win your case. We always aim to get 100% of the compensation available to you so that you get the justice you deserve.
To get in touch call us on 0800 1123 156, text “CONTACT” to 80011 or by complete our online claim form and we will get in touch with you.