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    JOINER BURNED IN ELECTRICAL EXPLOSION AND FIRE

    Workers overalls catch fire after electrical short-circuit sparks fire

    Graeme W Cheyne (Builders) Ltd, of Aberdeen, has been ordered to pay £13k in fines and prosecution costs after pleading guilty to failing to provide and maintain a safe system of work for employees working on or near an electrical system.

    George Forbes, 62, was working on a refurbishment project in Aberdeen in November 2008. During removal of a redundant electrical power supply a short circuit caused a localised electrical explosion and his boiler suit caught fire.

    The fuse cut-out was still live and connected to a 415 volt cable when he touched it and he suffered burns to his face and his left hand. 

    HSE investigators found the cable was twisted, causing the short-circuit creating enough energy to melt the cable and create a small explosion.

    Electrical services should have been checked

    Following the case, HSE Inspector Liz Standen said:

    “It’s lucky Mr Forbes was not electrocuted or more seriously hurt when the 415 volt cable blew up in his face in what was an entirely avoidable incident.

    “Graeme W Cheyne (Builders) Ltd, should have checked that all redundant electrical services on the property had been proven to be dead by a competent person before working on or near them.

    “It is extremely dangerous to make assumptions that electrical equipment is safe to work with.”

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