Faulty equipment danger highlighted

Faulty equipment

17.02.2009

One of Britain's biggest trade unions has called on firms to carry out regular checks and maintenance on equipment after a worker was badly hurt in an accident involving faulty equipment.

Unison said that Anthony Briars was temporarily blinded and received burns to his face, arm and forearm after being electrocuted by work equipment. Since the incident in September 2006, he is also said to have developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Briars had been preparing an area for street lamps to be fitted by digging a hole in the pavement, but had not been fully equipped for checking for electrical wires.

As well as not having been warned about the risks for checking wires, the equipment he was using to carry out the checks was faulty, Unison said. He had also not been provided with a plan of the area.

Unison spokesman Ray Short said: "Mr Briars' experience was extremely frightening and should have been avoided.

"We would urge businesses to make sure they are abiding by health and safety regulations, by making sure equipment is maintained in an efficient state, is in good working order and is in good repair."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "Employers need to ensure that workers are supplied with proper work equipment and that such equipment is properly maintained. Failure to do so can lead to a work accident causing injury or even death.

"Everyday, I see the misery caused to workers and their families following injury sustained in an industrial accident."