Safety Signs News

No warning signs for worker's electric shock fall

20th December 2010 | Warning Signs

Posted by Nicole Stevens.

No warning signs informed a subcontractor - who suffered an electric shock, fell and broke his back - that the conductor he came into contact with carried three phase 415V electricity.

Ridgeons, a timber merchants based in Cambridge, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after the incident which happened in September 2008.

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court heard how the 63-year-old suffered the electric shock when he fell more than five metres from a crane ladder.

The man, who was employed by Graham Parish Engineering, which had been subcontracted by Ridgeons, was working to fix an overhead crane system at its engineering workshop in Suffolk.

He was climbing a ladder to access the crane when he touched the live conductor. Falling 18ft, he landed on the concrete floor and suffered a fractured vertebra, a broken ankle, smashed heel, and burns to his hands.

The conductor had not been isolated and was not marked with health and safety signage.

Ridgeons admitted breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and failing to ensure work was carried out in such a manner as to not give rise to danger. It was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £4,344.70 in costs.

"It is essential for companies to ensure that work undertaken on their behalf by subcontractors is properly managed and safe systems of work agreed prior to work commencing," HSE inspector Jonathan Elven said.

According to the HSE, over 4,000 major injuries were a result of falls from height in 2008/2009.ADNFCR-2754-ID-800300426-ADNFCR


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