Leeds firm in court after trainee’s electric shock

A Leeds firm has been fined for safety, Is the Risk worth it (Get your PAT Testing done A.S.A.P)

failings after a trainee technician needed skin grafts after receiving an electric shock while using unsafe testing equipment.

The 22-year-old Bradford man, who does not wish to be named, spent five days in hospital with injuries to his arms and chest after the incident at a company in Westland Square, Beeston, on 18 February 2013.

Leeds Magistrates heard today (24 Jan) the trainee electrical test technician had to have skin grafts to both hands and was unable to work for some time.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted the company after finding a series of safety failures both in the equipment being used or provided, and in the working practices at the firm.

The 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. HSE found equipment at a safer low voltage could have been used but it was broken.

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

HSE served an enforcement notice on the company requiring improvements to be made to its safety measures and procedures.

The Company based in Westland Works, Westland Square, Leeds, was fined £6,500, with £647 in costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the case, HSE Inspector Julian Franklin said:

“This young trainee was given unsafe, inappropriate and poorly maintained equipment to test an electrical transformer with no training or supervision. As a result he suffered a painful injury because his employer displayed a serious disregard for safety in what can be a hazardous working environment.

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