Work accident compensation for employee badly burnt by live cable on building site | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Work accident compensation for employee badly burnt by live cable on building site

Claire Glasgow won a five-figure employer negligence settlement for 25-year-old Sam* against his former employer after his hands and arms were severely burnt on a demolition site near Sevenoaks, Kent. He also suffered a fracture to his left shoulder that continues to cause discomfort and impediment.

Sam was employed as a general operative by a local construction company on a project to demolish buildings on a site situated in Eastchurch. While on site, Sam was instructed to locate the end of a UKPN cable used to supply electricity to occupied cottages nearby. It was Sam's case that he was not informed at any point that the cable was live and that it should not be touched or handled in any way.

When he located the cable, which was exposed and lying partly covered in dirt on the ground with no warning or protection, Sam bent down to touch it with both hands to find the end. He was suddenly jolted by an electric shock and stuck to the cable and couldn't let go. A colleague rushed over and kicked him free. The force caused the fracture to Sam's shoulder.

Sam suffered electrical burns to both hands, particularly severe on his left hand. Sam is left-handed. He was transferred to the special burns unit at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for surgical debridement and was discharged home a week later. His shoulder fracture was not identified until later, meaning he had to go back to hospital for further surgery.  He also suffered a psychological injury as a result of the incident.

Back home, Sam struggled to recover from his injuries and was completely dependent on his partner to help him with everyday activities. He suffers from scarring and nerve damage to his hands and ongoing pain in his shoulder. He had to take approximately one year off work because of his injuries.

Claire pursued a claim against Sam's employer for failing to ensure his safety and to carry out adequate risk assessment of the site, or to make safe the electric cable prior to work commencing.

The schedule of loss included the cost of private shoulder surgery, ongoing physiotherapy and other therapies and financial losses.

The defendant admitted liability, although they alleged that Sam was partially at fault for his injuries – something that Sam strongly denied.  The case settled without the need to proceed to trail.

At the end of the case, Sam said:

"I would like to thank Claire Glasgow at Fieldfisher for helping with my personal injury claim. I was recommended to her personally by a family lawyer and have been impressed with her level of professionalism throughout.

"Claire and her team have always been very quick in dealing with enquiries I have had and I've never been left waiting for replies. I've seen some top specialists for my treatment which was all sorted quickly by Fieldfisher. Thank you very much for all your support and help during a very difficult time in my life."
Contact us

For further information about work accident compensation claims and personal injury claims, please call Claire Glasgow on 0330 460 6747 or email

All enquiries are completely free of charge and we will investigate all funding options for you including no win no fee. Find out more about no win no fee claims.

* name changed