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Electrical equipment testing vital to avoid accidents at work

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The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 call for any electrical equipment with the potential to cause injury to be safely maintained. Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is the name given to the testing and visual examination of electrical equipment and appliances to make sure they are safe for use. Some appliances can be tested by a competent person who has received simple training. Others, however, will need to be inspected by personnel specifically qualified to do so.

The importance of portable appliance testing

Electrical appliances in the workplace must be checked on a regular basis to ensure they do not pose a risk to the health and safety of those working with or near them. The testing should be carried out as part of any employer’s fire risk assessment, health and safety risk assessment, to satisfy insurance providers and to comply with the Provision of Use of Work Equipment Regulations.

Electrical equipment will deteriorate with use which is why regular testing is vital. It is a legal requirement of employers to ensure appliances are maintained in a safe working condition. If they are not, and an accident occurs as a result, anyone injured could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

Common electrical equipment accidents

The most common injuries associated with electrical equipment are electric shock and burns. Electric shocks can be highly dangerous, sometimes causing the heart to stop beating, muscle spasms to occur and preventing a person from breathing. Sometimes bones can be broken or joints dislocated if a shock is particularly powerful, and internal organs can be damaged. Victims can be thrown from the spot or if working at height, risk a fall.

There are two types of burns connected with electrical equipment. Electrical burns are caused by current running through the body for more than a fraction of a second. The current heats body tissue, resulting in deep and permanent burns which often need surgery. Thermal burns are commonly caused by contact with faulty, poorly maintained or overloaded electrical equipment which gets hot during use.

At Stephensons, we offer specialist expertise in work accident compensation claims. If you have been injured at work because your employer has failed to maintain their electrical equipment to a safe standard, get in touch. Your call will be treated in strict confidence and we’ll let you know within minutes whether you have a potential claim. You can speak directly to one of our specialist lawyers by calling 01616 966 229.

By personal injury solicitor and Stephensons’ Partner, Kate Sweeney