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Firm fined after electrician suffers burns

A Tayside electrical company has been fined for safety failings after a worker suffered burns to his face, hands and arms while carrying out live electrical testing.

Mr Gordon Roberts, from Dundee, spent nine days in hospital following the incident on 2 December 2010.

His employer, McGill Electrical, of Harrison Road, Dundee, was prosecuted after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

The HSE investigation concluded that McGill Electrical had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the task of removing and replacing the bolted covers while the distribution boards were live, and had also failed to have in place a safe system of work by failing to ensure that the electricity supply to the distribution boards was de-energised during removal and replacement of the covers.

McGill Electrical was fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Following the case, HSE inspector Mac Young, said: “This incident was wholly preventable. It was foreseeable that a metal plate being manipulated in close proximity to live conductors could inadvertently touch live parts and cause a flashover.

“The system of work, which involved removal and replacement of bolted covers while the system was live, and without knowing what was behind the covers, exposed Mr Roberts to unnecessary risk.”

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