Electric shock injuries in the workplace are more common than some may think. According to the Health & Safety Act and other laws pertaining to electrical safety at work, employers are responsible for ensuring that the premises are safe for their workers and visitors. Therefore, if you received an electric shock at work due to negligence, you may be eligible to file an electric shock at work compensation claim against your employer.
Common Causes Of Electric Shock At Work
Some workplaces such as construction sites and manufacturing plants among others, use multiple high powered electrical appliances. There are several examples of negligence that can cause permanent electric shock injuries.
In the absence of sufficient earthing, the current flows to the earth through the appliance or equipment causing it to become ‘live’. This can cause electrocution and even death.
Direct Contact With Exposed Live Electrical Elements
A damaged plug socket, old frayed wiring, or a broken light switch can be extremely dangerous if someone accidentally touches the exposed element. In many cases, this can also prove to be fatal.
Using Protective Electrical Equipment Incorrectly
It isn’t uncommon for some electricians to use higher rated protective electrical equipment as a way to stop circuit boards from tripping constantly. However, while it may resolve one problem, it creates a dangerous situation as this could lead to power surges that affect the building’s power supply and increase the risk of electrocution.
Insufficient Protection Against Water Or Other Liquids
Most of us know what happens when a live electrical element comes in contact with water and we usually go to great lengths to ensure that electric equipment is protected from water. Sometimes however, accidents do happen especially in industries where pressure washers are used to clean equipment or the premises.
Poor Electrical Maintenance
With time and regular use, wires can get frayed, elements can break or connections can come loose. All of these can greatly increase the risk of electrocution.
Understanding Employers’ Liability In Case of Workplace Electric Shock Injuries
All employers have a legal duty of care towards their workers. Employers are obliged under this duty of care, to ensure that reasonable safety measures are put in place to minimise hazards in the workplace. With regards to preventing electric shock, employers must ensure that all electrical appliances are free of all potential risks and safe for workers to use. They are also required to carry out regular inspections of all electrical equipment and machinery and carry out repairs immediately on identifying any hazards.
In addition to protecting the premises from any electrical hazards, employers are also required to ensure that all workers receive appropriate training in electrical safety to avoid electrical shock injuries at work. Where necessary, workers must be provided with adequate personal protective equipment when handling certain tasks.
If your employer was negligent in their duty of care and you were injured as a result of their negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
What To Do After An Electric Shock Injury At Work
Always seek medical attention for electric shock injuries however minor they may seem at the time. A medical check-up after any major accident will either confirm or rule out the presence of any indiscernible injury that could worsen with time. It also creates a record of your injuries and that you sought treatment for the same.
Informing your supervisor and filing a written incident report in the accident book are two important steps to take after any accident in the workplace. This establishes that the accident did happen and that you were injured in that accident and can be used as evidence if you make an electric shock compensation claim. Keep a copy of the incident report for your own records.
Get photographs that show what caused the accident and make a note of anybody who witnessed it.
Speak to a personal injury solicitor to determine your legal rights and to get expert advice as to what to do next.
Filing A Claim For Workplace Electric Shock Injuries
When you file a claim for workplace electric shock injuries, you may find yourself be up against highly experienced lawyers from your employer’s insurance company. Unless you are familiar with personal injury law, your chances of winning any settlement may be slim. Personal injury solicitors are experts in this area of the law and many have years of experience handling similar settlement claims. They will use their expertise and experience to put together a strong claim that in all probability has a higher likelihood of being successful.
That’s not all. A personal injury solicitor will very likely offer to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis if you cannot afford to cover legal expenses. The terms of a typical No Win No Fee agreement are simple and straightforward. The solicitor agrees to represent you while also covering all expenses related to your electric shock at work claim. You do not have to pay any legal fees at any point while the case is still active. If your claim is successful and you are awarded compensation, only then do you have to pay an agreed/set percentage of the settlement amount to the solicitor as reimbursement. You are not required to reimburse your solicitor if your electric shock at work claim is unsuccessful.
In addition to the legal and financial help, your personal injury solicitor may also connect you with therapists and rehabilitation professionals outside of the NHS if you need specialised treatment for your injuries.
Getting in touch with a solicitor as soon as possible is of utmost importance. This will give the solicitor sufficient time to put together a strong case and file it before the 3-year deadline. Putting together a strong claim can take time as the solicitor researches precedents and consults with other legal and medical experts to get you the maximum compensation due to you.
If you’ve suffered an electric shock at work and would like to speak with a solicitor about filing a claim for compensation please contact us today.