Electricity is part of everyday life but has the potential to be incredibly harmful, which is why it is so important to stay safe. Anyone who works near electricity cables is at risk of electrocution. This includes plumbers, heating and gas engineers and renewable energy installers.
In 2016/17, there was an average of 27 electrical incidents per week, which average out to around four each day. In 2015/16, over 70,000 tradespeople suffered injuries at work. This often results in taking time off work, losing the ability to earn money. How would this affect you and your family? When you’re working, are you aware of the electricity cables hidden behind those walls? Do you know what is buried under your feet? Have you seen the wires above your head?
Harm and Dangers
Electricity can cause severe injury and even be fatal. This makes it crucial that you reduce the risk of harm to yourself and others. The main hazards when working with electricity are electric shocks, fire and explosions. Before you undertake any work, make sure you assess potential risks and take steps to control them. This includes using the correct equipment for the job and wearing protective clothing.
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it’s an offence to conduct operations without due care and attention. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, sets out safe working practices for people who carry out work on or near electrical equipment. Anyone working close to live cables should take time to read UK Power Network’s safety leaflet and identify the precautions they should be taking. The Health & Safety Executive has also published a helpful guide on their website.