In 2019 at our annual Health and Safety Conference we were joined by Louise Taggart, whose 26 year old brother Michael was killed as the result of basic health and safety failings at work in 2005. He was electrocuted when he cut through a cable labelled ‘not in use’, which was in fact wired into a distribution board. A lockout system, costing a few pence, was not used to isolate a circuit he was working on. Read the full story here
Louise has campaigned for years to educate workers and their employers about the devastating affects of these wholly preventable incidents but unfortunately lessons still haven’t been learnt.
HSE have reported the following tragic story that is so very similar to that of Michael’s from nearly 16 years ago.
Louise continues to raise awareness and educate by sharing Michaels Story
Employee killed in electrical incident
A warehouse management solutions company has been fined after an employee was electrocuted while servicing an air compressor.
Maidstone Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 December 2017, Andrew Meade was carrying out pre-planned maintenance on an air compressor at a distribution centre in Gravesend, when he was electrocuted. He was not found for more than an hour following the incident. His injuries were fatal.
Investigating, the HSE found that the control measures in place to prevent contact with electricity during maintenance activities were not suitable or sufficient. The electrical systems had not been tested or visually inspected since installation, and an incorrect isolating switch had not been identified.
Logistex Limited of Kettering Parkway, Kettering, Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £23,358.16.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Joanne Williams said: “Poorly maintained electrical installations and faulty electrical appliances can kill or severely injure people; and cause damage to property.
“This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement safe systems of work and identify the risks. Had the company identified the correct isolation point for the compressor and ensured that employees were sufficiently trained and supervised in the lock off procedures expected of them then this fatal incident would not have occurred.”