The Electrical Safety Council is urging contractors to ensure that safe isolation procedures for low voltage installations are being implemented on construction sites.

The tragic consequences of failing to do so were highlighted recently when an electrical contractor was ordered to pay over £133 000 in fines and costs following the electrocution of one of its employees.

The prosecution followed an investigation by the HSE into the death of the employee, which occurred when a fellow electrician energised the circuit on which he was working. There were no safety procedures in place for isolating and locking off power. Tape had been placed over circuit breakers in an attempt to prevent inadvertent operation.

Phil Buckle, director of charitable affairs at the ESC, said: “There is an urgent need to improve working procedures to ensure electrical safety on construction sites, particularly in places where there is more than one electrician employed or where work is being carried out in the presence of other trades or persons.

“While fatalities are thankfully rare, electric shock and burn injuries are suffered by people working on construction sites every year.”

The Council is urging all contractors to acquaint themselves with its Best Practice Guide on safe isolation procedures for low voltage installations, which provides practical and legal guidance for employers, employees and the self-employed.

Copies of the guide are available free of charge from the business and community section of the Council's website. Visit: