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Woman compensated after suffering electric shock at booksellers

A woman who suffered an electric shock while working at Waterstones Booksellers has been awarded £2,000 compensation.

The 47-year-old woman was working at one of the company’s stores when she reached to hang up the back door keys. As she did so, her right bicep touched part of a light switch while her left hand was situated near a pipe.

She suffered an electric shock. The electric current went in through her left hand, passed through her chest and exited out of her right bicep, causing paralysis for approximately 10 seconds. She was initially very shocked and disorientated, fearing that she had suffered a heart attack. 

For one week afterwards she suffered burning, blistering and pain to her left palm, and for two weeks she suffered burning, bruising and pain to her right bicep.

She also suffered acute anxiety and distress for a week, and severe intrusive anxiety which lasted for three months.

Electricians examined the switch and discovered that faulty wiring had caused a live earth.

The woman took legal action against the company claiming that it was negligent in allowing incorrect wiring at the premises, failing to provide safe means of access, exposing her to a risk of injury and operating an unsafe place of work.

She said the failings breached the Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1992, the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

The company admitted liability an agreed to pay compensation of £2,000 in an out-of-court settlement.

Please contact us if you would like help making a personal injury claim.