A Leeds firm has been fined for safety failings after a man was left needing skin grafts following a work accident.
The 22-year-old Bradford man, a trainee technician, suffered an electric shock when using unsafe testing equipment at Wilson Power Solutions Ltd in Beeston and has been unable to return to work since.
He spent five days in hospital with injuries to his arms and chest after the incident on 18 February 2013, needing skin grafts to both hands.
Work safety failings
At a hearing on 24 January 2014, Leeds Magistrates heard he was testing a transformer at the time but the test equipment had exposed conductors at 415 volts.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was equipment at a safer low voltage that could have been used but which was broken.
The HSE also noted that the test enclosure he was working in had an interlocking mechanism that had been defeated so power was not cut off when he went inside.
Emergency stop buttons were also broken and unusable, the investigation revealed.
Prohibition notice after work accident
Following the work injury Wilson Power Solutions was served with a prohibition notice by the HSE, bringing to an end similar work on site until the company improved its safety measures and procedures.
Wilson Power Solutions Ltd of Westland Works, Westland Square, Leeds, was fined £6,500, with a £650 victim surcharge and £647 in costs, after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
HSE Inspector Julian Franklin said after the case: “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.”
He described the firm’s system of work as “sub-standard” and said a number of safety features had either fallen into disrepair or been defeated.
“The firm failed to ensure that risks from a known hazard were controlled and allowed equipment to fall into disrepair, resulting in a potentially life-threatening incident.”
Anyone concerned they have been subjected to sub-standard safety systems at work may wish to contact national law firm Accident Advice Helpline for specialist advice on accident claims. To discuss your claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
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Date Published: January 30, 2014
Author: David Brown