A Stonemasonry company from Perth has been fined £16,000 after one of its apprentice stonemasons was seriously injured as a result of contact with an overhead power line.
Perth Sherriff Court heard how the apprentice Rodd McFarlane was carrying out repairs on a cottage in Perth and had erected a tower scaffold to carry out some re-pointing work. While he was up on the scaffold the wind caused a 240 volt power line supplying the cottage to brush against his back, causing him to turn around instinctively and grab the live wire. The flow of the current meant he was unable to let go for a few seconds until he jumped down from the board on the scaffold. His weight then broke the wire and interrupted the flow of current. He received a severe electric shock and suffered burns to both hands which required graft surgery and in the future it’s possible he might lose his little finger.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the company had failed to implement a safe system of work and as a result was fined £16,000.
Electrocution in the workplace is one of the most common forms of industrial injury, but it can be avoided in most cases by taking simple steps to ensure safe practise is used. It is your responsibility and the responsibility of your employer to make sure electricity is used safely.
What to do if a colleague has been electrocuted.
If you find that a colleague has suffered from an electric shock, firstly make sure that they are no longer in contact with the source of the shock, otherwise you too could be electrocuted while trying to help them. If they are still in contact, try to separate them using a non-conductive item such as a broom handle. Ideally have someone nearby isolate the electricity supply. Once the victim is separated from the supply, check that they are breathing and if needs be perform resuscitation. If they are breathing but not conscious, put them into the recovery position and call 999 – electric shocks can be very serious and it is worth being checked over by a medical professional.
Have you been electrocuted at work?
Whether it was a small shock or a large one, your employer should have had procedures and safety measures in place to avoid you getting shocked at all. Our solicitors have years of experience in dealing with these kinds of cases so contact us today to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.