In modern world in which we live, many jobs would now simply be unthinkable without the use of electrical tools and equipment. They can save us time, effort and as a result, money, and can make jobs that were previously only performed by trained professionals accessible to the untrained to carry out. However, this familiarity with electrical equipment can breed carelessness when using the tools.
There are several steps that should be identified before electrical equipment is used for any purpose. These include the following:
Perform a risk assessment. This doesn’t have to be a huge paper manual, but must involve identifying any hazards, the risks arising from those hazards, and the control measures that could be used to minimise the risks.
Is the equipment suitable for the job? Always identify whether the tool you are planning to use is the correct one for the job that needs doing.
Is it in good condition? Using damaged or faulty tools can lead to injuries and even deaths. The HSE have a booklet ‘Maintaining Portable and transportable electrical equipment’ which will help in managing this aspect.
Is the equipment suitable for the electricity supply present? Many hand held tools use batteries, but even they must be charged correctly, and using any tool that is attached to the mains supply should involve ensuring the supply is suitable for the device.
Use an RCD (Residual Current Device) that can cut the electricity supply to the tool in the event of an issue.
Ensure that the person using the device is suitably trained to do so, both in how to use the tool and how to perform the necessary testing beforehand.
Finally any one using electrically powered tools should be provided with suitable personal protective equipment for the job in hand.
Taking all of the above into account should minimise the risk of injury to anyone using electrical tools in the work-place. Employers have a responsibility to ensure the health and safety of their employees is monitored and managed effectively.
Have you been injured?
If you have been injured by electrically powered tools during the course of your employment, and it can be shown that this was due to your employer not managing the risks effectively, then you could be eligible to claim for compensation. Contact one of our solicitors today to see if we can help you get the compensation you deserve.