Jan 28 2014

Another Case Where Unsafe Practices and Electricity Was an Issue

A Leeds firm has been fined for safety failings after a trainee electrical test technician needed several skin grafts after receiving an electric shock while using what the The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) described as unsafe testing equipment.

The Bradford man (22), spent five days in hospital with injuries to his arms and chest after the incident at Wilson Power Solutions Ltd in Westland Square, Beeston, Leeds in February 2013.

Leeds Magistrates heard in January the trainee electrical test technician had to have skin grafts to both hands and has been unable to return to work since.

The HSE investigated and prosecuted Wilson Power Solutions after finding a series of safety failures both in the equipment being used or provided, and in the working practices at the firm.

The Leeds court was told the trainee was testing a transformer but the test equipment had exposed conductors at 415 volts. When he touched a connector he received an electric shock. The HSE found equipment at a safer low voltage could have been used but it was broken.

The HSE also identified he had been working inside a test enclosure where the interlocking mechanism had been defeated so power was not cut off when he entered. In addition emergency stop buttons were broken and unusable. Readers will recall the case of an electrician given a two year suspended prison sentence (Cork Circuit Criminal Court, November 2013) for deliberately looping out  a trip switch on a power washer. The judge putting emphasis on a trip switch being a matter of grave concern, said he would suspend the sentence on condition that he not work as a electrician for five years.

see, http://press.hse.gov.uk/2014/leeds-firm-in-court-after-trainees-electric-shock/