Workers Exposed to Electric Shock Risks

There doesn’t always need to be an accident for the Health and Safety Executive to prosecute for breaching health and safety laws.  Last week a firm was fined for exposing workers to the risk of electric shocks which could have been easily avoided. Even though no one had been hurt the HSE must act to ensure the safety of others in the future and to show how important it is to follow regulations and legislation.  The risks on their own are enough to be fined so there is no point avoiding vital procedures and safety policies just because someone hasn’t been hurt…yet.

Worker was Lucky Not to Have Been Harmed

Coolcheck Refrigeration based in Tyneside have been fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 in costs for putting the lives of the employees at risk.  The company had an electrical system in an unsafe condition after carrying out work.   It had been disconnected and some tape had been placed over the circuit breaker so that employees would know that the unit should always remain isolated.  Unfortunately, some of the copper wires that were part of the disconnected cable had become exposed, which was extremely dangerous.

An employee was later lucky to have not been harmed when he moved the cable.  The copper wires that conduct the electricity touched the wall and this resulted in an electrical short circuit.  The health and safety inspector said that this incident could have been avoided with ease.  All of the electricians hired by Coolcheck Refrigeration should have been able to safely disconnect the unit.  The use of electrical tape over the circuit breaker isn’t enough and has been deemed as an unsafe practice by the Electrical Safety Council.

Fines for Firm Breaching the Electricity at Work Regulations

The electric supply carried 240 volts and that is enough to cause shock and electrocution. That’s why it’s essential to safely leave all electrical systems in a state that will not pose any risks to the workers or the public. Coolcheck pleaded guilty for breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations. This regulation states that all operations and work activity, maintenance and use of a system must be performed so as not to give rise to danger, so far as is practicable.

Are Your Employees Trained and Following Procedures?

If you have hired people to perform tasks in your organisation you must ensure they are using safe methods of work, are aware of the health and safety regulations and that they are fully compliant with your policies and procedures.  Health and Safety Consultants are able to assist you with the creation of documents, policies, and even with the training of you and your employees.  There is no need to risk being prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive if you ensure all of your employees are fully aware of their responsibilities.

You can find out more about the health and safety services available by speaking to one of our team.  Call 0800 1488 677 and ask about how you can improve the health and safety culture within your organisation.

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