51 year old electrician Henry Truszkowski suffered serious burns when he was hit by a 33,000 volt electric shock whilst carrying out maintenance work in 2008.
He was working for steel company Celsa Manufacturing (UK) Ltd at the time, who was later fined £80,000 for failing to properly safeguard high voltage electrical conductors. Mr Truszkowski was working alone cleaning the conductors and circuit breaker units when he came into contact with exposed, live conductors which should have been securely isolated.
The worker was hospitalised for weeks and had not returned to work by the time the story was reported in the press earlier this year when the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution was due to take place.
HSE inspector Steve Curry said: “Had Celsa Manufacturing (UK) ensured correct and safe working practices were in operation, the serious injuries Mr Truszkowski suffered may have been avoided. This incident need not have occurred, and must serve as a notice to other employers of the need to control risks from high voltage electrical equipment.”
Steel worker suffers serious burns after 11kV shock
Whilst building two new poultry units at Sunny Farm in Bedfordshire in 2009, self employed steel erector Mark Rushbrook suffered serious burns when he was hit by an 11kV electric shock from an overhead power cable which came into contact with the scissor lift he was using.
The HSE found that the employer and subcontractor had failed to identify the potential risks of working near overhead voltage lines and hadn’t taken the appropriate precautions. They were both fined for failing to comply with health and safety legislation.
In both cases, the workers suffered serious burns and will be within their rights to pursue a claim for compensation against their employers. Their suffering, loss of income and possible future need for cosmetic surgery and counselling will all be factored into the award level pursued by their appointed solicitors.
Alternating and direct current electricity can cause a range of injuries including electric and thermal burns and muscle spasms, and the higher the voltage, the greater the risk. Electrical current heats body tissue and can result in deep burns which will have long term disabling effects. Muscle spasms can sometimes be so strong they dislocate joints or break bones. If working at height, falls often result. Thermal burns occur when a person is exposed to a hot surface or an electrical explosion.
At Stephensons, we have accident claims solicitors on our team who have specific experience in pursuing employers who have failed to adequately assess workplace risks and take action to ensure the safety of their workers. If you, or someone you know, has suffered an injury due to an electric shock at work, call us today on 0844 245 6601. We’ll put you straight through to a specialist to discuss the merits of your case.
By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney