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The statutory guidance relating to electrical safety is copied below. However, the requirements are only enforceable after a notice has been first served upon you by a local authority. However, in theory there is no reason why it shouldn’t be followed for the “due diligence defence”.

Health effects

When electricity passes through the human body, it causes shock to the nervous system. The shock effect ranges from mild tingling sensations to disruption of the normal regular contractions of the heart or respiratory muscles, causing death.

As human tissue acts as a resistance to electricity, heat is generated which may result in burns. Such burns usually occur at the point of contact with the source of electricity. Injuries are primarily burns (53%) to the finger or thumb (58%). The mouth is the second most frequent injury site. About half of electrical accidents in the home result in burns as well as shock.

The majority of injuries are not severe. Of those attending hospital accident and emergency, 38% of victims are sent home, and 47% are referred to out-patients or a GP. Of those admitted to hospital, 71% stayed for less than 3 days.

Those under 40 have 80% of all accidents, and males have 59% of accidents. The most vulnerable group are young children, who are less likely to be aware of the risks posed by electricity. Boys between 5 and 14 are three times more likely to have accidents than girls of the same age.

By touching metal or other conducting material which is ‘live’ a person may receive an electric shock. The risk is dependent on a number of factors, the main one being

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