Firms Warned Of Electricity Risk After Staffordshire Worker Suffers Shock
|The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is warning employers to be wary of operating machinery near overhead power cables after a Staffordshire man suffered serious burns when he was hit by an electrical charge.
The injured man, Andrew Perry, was visiting a waste site at Booths Farm, Cheadle, Staffordshire on 3 September 2008. He was using a control lever to move the extending arm of his truck to tip waste materials, when it touched a set of 33,000 volt overhead electric cables.
The electricity surged through the metal structure of the vehicle and through Mr Perry’s body, throwing him from the vehicle, leaving him with burns to his arm and feet.
John Rowland Fallows, the owner of the site and who trades as Fallows Recycling Services, pleaded guilty at Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates Court to breaching Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. He was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay £2,214 costs.
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HSE Inspector Lynne Boulton said: "Mr Perry was very lucky not to have lost his life. Around 60 per cent of electrical fatalities at work are caused by inadvertent contact with overhead power lines. It’s important to remember that machinery and equipment do not need to touch power lines for electricity to be transmitted because it can arc or jump across gaps.
"In this case, there were no barriers or warnings to prevent drivers visiting this site from tipping waste materials under the power lines and it was only a matter of time before an incident like this took place. It wouldn’t have taken much effort to install barriers, as proven by the fact that Mr Fallows quickly erected barriers and warning signs to avoid a repeat of this incident shortly after it occurred."
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