The safety of staff and customers was put at risk when a cafe hooked up appliances that had been disconnected from its power supply to the electrical distribution board of a takeaway next door, a court heard.
Cafe Roma director Robi Miah, of St Michael’s Crescent, Luton, was fined £330 with a victim surcharge of £20 after admitting three health and safety offences.
Luton Magistrates Court heard that an electricity supplier had cut off the power to the cafe on Hitchin Road, Luton, in July 2013.
Live electrical connections exposed
Officers from Luton council’s food and safety team visited the premises following a tip-off from the power provider and found the cafe trading with its electrical appliances working and its lights on.
The team found a cable at the cafe linked up to the electrical distribution board of The Ranch takeaway next door.
Magistrates heard the cable was not safely secured and that the door to the distribution board was open, leaving live electrical connections exposed.
And they were told that an independent electrician had verified that there was a risk of electric shock from the exposed connections.
The emergency electrician also confirmed that as the cable did not have sufficient overload protection there was a real risk posed to the health and safety of staff and customers at both Cafe Roma and The Ranch.
The court heard the electrician carried out work to make the installation safe.
‘Flouting law can endanger lives’
The court heard the council had served the cafe with a prohibition notice to stop the dangerous supply being reconnected.
An improvement notice had also been served requiring a competent person to check the electrical installation but that had not happened within the set time limits, magistrates heard.
Following the court case, Luton council’s portfolio holder for environmental health, Councillor Aslam Khan, said businesses that ignore health and safety laws are putting people’s lives in danger.
He added that those found breaking the law face the risk of being taken to court, fined and even jailed.
Experts at Accident Advice Helpline can help people who’ve suffered an electric shock injury make a claim for compensation.
Date Published: October 30, 2014
Author: David Brown