Electrician work injury compensation claims
This guide takes you through what you need to know about making a successful electrician accident compensation claim.
Electricians face the risk of electric shock in the course of their work, but a wide range of work accidents can also occur as also encounter other hazards on the many sites where they may be expected to work.
Although workers have a duty to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions, working to tight schedules with other tradesmen and contractors may increase the likelihood of accident when health and safety regulations are neglected.
If you were injured in working as an electrician in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.
In addition to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAW) place duties on employers, employees and self-employed people to protect workers from death and injury caused by electricity. They state that work being carried out on or near electrical systems and electrical equipment should be done in such a way as to avoid unreasonable risks.
Electric shocks and electrocution occur where the power source is live. An electrician working safely should either isolate the supply or switch it off. If an electrician has been told by a responsible party, such as a site manager, that the power is off in the area where he is working - and it is not - it is likely compensation can be claimed for resulting injuries.
Ensuring tools are maintained to a high standard of repair is vital and failure to do so may be evidence of an employer's negligence. Diagnostic equipment that does not work properly may give false information and potentially lead to electric shocks.
Burns and internal injuries
Most common injuries are burns caused by the current passing along the skin's surface and these may be minor. However, where the current passes to earth it may cause deep burns over a wide area. If the current passes through the body there may be serious deep injury to organs or to muscles and bone, which is not visible on the skin.
Other immediate effects are those on the cardiac and nervous system, with acute MI (myocardial infarction), respiratory arrest and strokes all being reported. Haemorrhage may occur where the current entered the body.
Delayed complications may include kidney failure due to renal damage, and spinal cord injury. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) or other chronic pain symptoms may develop weeks or months later.
Electric shocks usually result in the electrician being thrown backwards from the source and he may sustain secondary injuries.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
The purpose of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 is to prevent death and injury to workers by falls from a height by proper planning and supervision and by using the right type of equipment.
Electricians often work at height; installing or repairing electrical cables or equipment in ceilings and roof spaces. The work may be in a confined or badly lit area, adding to the hazards. Failure to provide the correct platforms, ladders, and where appropriate, safety harnesses, may be evidence of an employer's negligence.
Fragile floorboards and unstable stairs may present further risk of falling where electricians are rewiring old buildings.
Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety trainers, which offer more feel underfoot on ladders and steps than steel toecap boots, may also reduce the risk of falls from height.
The Health and Safety Executive has run several campaigns to raise awareness of asbestos exposure and urges electricians to wear filtering dust masks, preferably face fitted.
Working in buildings constructed before 1999 may expose electricians to asbestos. Although there is a legal requirement for building owners to identify and log the whereabouts of asbestos, it is not always known. An electrician who unwittingly drills into asbestos risks inhaling or ingesting the fibres.
Symptoms of asbestos related illness take many years to develop, so it is important that any potential asbestos exposure is noted in medical records.
EAW regulations state that any personal protective equipment (PPE) provided must be suitable and properly maintained and used to prevent and minimise injury
Electricians working in tight spaces such as service voids and ducts cannot wear a traditional hard hat, so instead should be provided with a well-fitting bump cap to protect the head from injury.
Ordinary work gloves do not allow electricians the dexterity they need to carry out their work and therefore may not be worn. Issuing cut resistant gloves that allow feel and grip will encourage use and protect the hands from puncture wounds and lacerations from sharp edges and tools.
Since safety glasses can be made to any prescription these should be provided to protect the eyes - and allow the electrician to see what he is doing.
A No Win, No Fee agreement, referred to as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement, comprises the basis of the majority of injury claims.
A CFA is essentially a contract between your lawyer and you.
It details the service executed by the solicitor handling your case, and crucially, a success fee to be taken from the damages once the lawyer wins your claim.
By choosing a Quittance solicitor, you have peace of mind knowing that there will be nothing to pay up front.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our work accident compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.
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