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Electrical Safety Facts & Figures

The dangers posed by electricity and dangerous appliances in workplaces are widely recognised.

The HSE claims that nearly 25% of all reportable electrical accidents involve portable and transportable electrical equipment and recently issued the latest provisional figures on injuries involving contact with electricity as reported to the enforcing authorities via the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR).

In 2009/10 the HSE reports that there were three employee (2008/09 – 4) fatalities and six fatalities (2008/09 – 8) involving members of the public.

Non fatal major injuries to employees during 2009/10 totalled 75 compared to 93 in the previous year. Over three day injuries caused by contact with electricity also fell to 281 from 320 over the same period. Non fatal injuries among members of the public were recorded as 51 ( 2008/9 – 71).

Of course alongside the HSE injury figures, the full extent of the dangers associated with unsafe electric appliances and equipment can also be gauged from the fire statistics.

In 2008, the latest year for which full 12 month figures are available, there were 27,500 fires recorded in buildings other than dwellings, 11 per cent fewer than in 2007. Of these, around 60 per cent were accidental, and as in previous years, the main cause was faulty appliances and leads. In 2008 this problem was responsible for 6,000 fires - or 34% of the total.

Overall, it was reported that fires in non-residential buildings caused the deaths of 21and injuries to 1,200 people.

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