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HSE penalises electrical safety failure

A coating and treatment company in Swavesey, Cambridgeshire has been fined for safety failings after an employee suffered an electric shock.

A machine operator at the firm received an electric shock whilst checking new cables on a hardening machine that had recently been maintained, sustaining open wounds to his forearm and left palm and burns to his left arm and knee.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had failed to impose adequate safe working procedures relating to the operation, use and maintenance of an electrical system and work near an electrical system. The company was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £5,382.70 in costs.

HSE Inspector Alison Ashworth, said: "Work with or near electricity is dangerous. This incident could have been prevented if the company had identified the risk and acted to control it. They could have prevented access to the live parts of the cables, insulated them or ensured that stored electrical energy had been discharged. The HSE will not hesitate to take action where there is the risk of serious harm to people at work."

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