Electrician departed from safe practice and lost his life
A fatal accident inquiry into the death of Jim Duncan, an experienced self-employed plumber/electrician, who was electrocuted in an Aberdeen flat last August, has heard from an electrical expert that his death resulted from his failure to adopt a safety strategy in his work task.
Mr Duncan would not have died if he had switched off the power, left a cover on a thermostat containing live terminals, or even worn protective insulating gloves prior to inspecting a water tank.
Sheriff Alasdair McFadyen declared that Mr Duncan was electrocuted because he contacted a live part while undertaking plumbing work in the property.
Mr Duncan entered the bathroom to access a water tank in a cupboard behind a bath. When the resident of the flat addressed him from outside he received no reply, and when he entered the room he discovered the electrician slumped over the cupboard.
Investigating the death, Mr John Madden, HSE's Scottish Principal Electrical Inspector found the cover of the thermostat next to the tank had been removed exposing live conductors. It had been established also that the power had not been switched off at the time of the accident.
Mr Madden said: "If Mr Duncan had reached into the cupboard to adjust the thermostat with the cover off, it is highly likely that he would also have touched one of the live terminals."
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