Death at work from electricity – Company to blame

June 4, 2013  |  News

Notts firm admits blame for death of worker Electrocuted at work The widow of a man fatally electrocuted at a Nottinghamshire metal working plant has welcomed his employers finally admitting total blame for his death. Carnaud Metal Box Ltd,based in Sutton in Ashfield, had denied responsibility throughout the civil proceedings against them. It was not until they reached the court steps that they accepted that their negligence caused Brian Pemberton to be killed in September 2002. Brian had been investigating water seepage in an oven when he received a high voltage shock such that he was electrocuted and died. No electrical training given Brian’s employers denied responsibility for his death. At the inquest and at the Health and Safety Executive trial they claimed that Brian should have done more to ensure that the power supply was switched off. Yet he had never been given electrical training by the firm. They continued to argue fault on Brian’s part throughout the civil proceedings on behalf of Brian’s widow Joyce, which were backed throughout by his union Amicus and trade union lawyers Thompsons. The case finally settled on the steps of Mansfield County Court for an undisclosed sum, with Carnaud finally admitting full responsibility and making it clear to the Court Brian was in no way at fault.

» Full Story

Electrical Safety Register Launched

June 4, 2013  |  News

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) and the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) have joined together to announce the launch of the Electrical Safety Register. With more than 36,000 contractors listed www.electricalsafetyregister.com has been developed to help homeowners to find a trusted and safe electrician in their local area. All of the companies on the Electrical Safety Register have been fully assessed to rigorous technical standards, making it the definitive searchable database for competent electricians. The register is supported by two of the biggest names in the electrical contracting industry, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA).  The ESC is a consumer focused charity dedicated to keeping consumers safe by reducing the risk of electrical accidents around the home and in the work place. Further to this, the ECA is the electrical industry’s trade association, who represents those who work in the sector. Phil Buckle, director general of the ESC, comments: “The launch of the Electrical Safety Register is a huge step forward for homeowners and will greatly help them in their search for a certified local contractor. “With 80 per cent of electrical work carried out by electricians who are registered with NICEIC or ELECSA, combining them into one central database made perfect sense. Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC, adds: “By providing homeowners with such a great resource, we can encourage them to always use a registered electrician.  Those who choose not to do so are putting both themselves and their family’s lives at risk. “We believe that the register will quickly become the most trusted resource for consumers who are looking to employ a competent electrical contractor, in either a commercial or domestic setting.” To search for a competent electrical contractor near you visit: www.electricalsafetyregister.com. -Ends- Notes: The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) is a UK charity committed to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents at home and at work.  The charity acts as a consumer advocate, raising awareness of safety issues through a range of campaigns and liaises with industry and government to protect consumers and promote best practice within the electrical industry. The Electrical Contractors Association is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrical engineering and contracting companies. The electrical contracting industry employs 350,000 operatives and 6,000 apprentices. Its 3,000 members range from local electricians to national companies with several branches employing thousands. Its members carry out a range of work, from domestic heating and lighting to cutting edge building control technology.

» Full Story

Electrician left unable to work

June 4, 2013  |  News

Electric shock caused burns An electrician has suffered serious burns to his hand after he fell and landed on a live electrical board. The electrician from Southport hasn’t been able to return to his work as an electrician due to injuries to his hand and nightmares following the accident in 2008. He was asked to assess an electrical fault at a local primary school by his employer A D Antrobus  on the day of the accident. He was told to access the board whilst it was still live so that parts could be ordered without disrupting the school’s electricity supply. It was planned that work on the fault would start immediately when the school day came to a close at 3.30pm. Severe burns to hands As he was assessing the board he slipped and his left hand came into contact with it. He was immediately shocked and the current stuck his hand to the board. He was only able to get free by placing his foot on the wall and ripping his hand away. He was severely burned and his arm was in a splint for 14 weeks. His hand has healed but he still suffers from limited movement. The electrician said: “I knew that accessing the electrical board was risky but it was normal practice at this firm to work in this way. I had received my orders so to speak and I was carrying them out. “When the shock began I knew I had seconds to get my hand off the board otherwise I would die. I have no idea how I managed to move my leg to rip my hand away but I’ve no doubt that that action saved my life. Electrical board should have been switched off before any inspection work began Paul Finegan, regional secretary at Unite the Union said: “This member felt compelled by his employer to work in a way which was highly dangerous. Cutting corners to save disruption to the school risked our member being killed.” 21st January 2013

» Full Story

True Facts

June 4, 2013  |  News

The electric chair was invented by a dentist. In 1957 a battery was discovered in Bagdad. It was made by the Parthians, who ruled Bagdad from 250 B.C.E. to 224 C.E., and was used to electroplate silver. One lightning bolt has enough electricity to service 200 000 homes. Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) was one of the most well known inventors of all time with 1093 patents. Electrocution is one of the top five causes of workplace deaths. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, entrepreneur Harvey Hubbell II worked to find ways of controlling electricity and developed the first two-blade electrical plug and socket. The system of three-phase alternating current electrical generation, transmission, and distribution was developed in the 19th century by Nikola Tesla, George Westinghouse and others. The standard nominal supply voltage in domestic single-phase 50 Hz installations in the UK has been 230V AC (rms) since 1 January 1995. Previously it was 240V. The continued deviation in the UK from the harmonised European voltage has been criticised in particular by light bulb manufacturers, who require tighter voltage tolerances to optimise the operating temperature and lifetime of their products, and who currently have to continue producing separate 230 V and 240 V versions.

» Full Story

Unlawful killing Verdict

June 4, 2013  |  News

Inadequate testing leads to unlawful killing verdict The coroner at the inquest into the death of 22-year-old mother Emma Shaw asks whether anything can be done to avoid similar tragedies. In December 2007, Emma Shaw, a 22-year old mother, was electrocuted in the airing cupboard of her flat in the West Midlands. At an inquest into Miss Shaw’s death, the jury heard how the tragedy resulted from a plasterboard fixing screw being driven into a concealed cable when the flat was being built the previous year, causing the metallic frame of the partition to become ‘live’ when the electrical installation was energised. The damage to the cable had not been detected because insulation resistance tests had not been carried out properly on the wiring, the jury was told. The fault had remained undetected until water from a leak in a hot water cylinder came into contact with the metal partition. This caused water on the airing cupboard floor also to become ‘live’, which led to the electrocution when Miss Shaw attempted to turn off the water stop cock when in contact with the water. As the flat was on the first floor, no RCD protection had been provided. Her son, then aged 23 months, had been shut in the living room while his mother went to tend to the leak. Last December, after listening to two weeks of evidence, the inquest jury found that the initial testing of the electrical installation in the flat by the installing contractor, Anchor Electrical and Building Services Ltd of Staffordshire,was “not carried out to a professional standard, if at all”. Evidence at the inquest revealed that when the electrics were installed, a series of errors were made. These included an unqualified electrician’s mate testing and approving the wiring in the flat. The inquest heard that four safety documents that the mate had filled out, and which were checked by the company’s supervisor, also had a number of errors in them. The jury said that there had been a “failure by the company to assess the capabilities of their workforce and constantly monitor their development” and a “failure to comply with their health and safety standards”. They concluded that Miss Shaw had been unlawfully killed. Following the verdict of unlawful killing, the Health and Safety Executive confirmed that new evidence would be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, which had previously said that there was insufficient evidence to successfully prosecute anyone. The Coroner told the inquest that he would use coroner’s rules to write to the NICEIC and other relevant bodies, asking if anything can be done to curb the practice of electricians signing safety certificates based solely on information reported to them by others. 21st January 2013

» Full Story
» All News Articles

Business Support Directory

Search the directory for business funding and advice

» See All Search Categories
» Join the Support Directory
» About Enterprise Adviser

Twitter Feed

    » Follow us on Twitter