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ELECTROCUTION TRIAL STARTS

Company, MD and senior employees on trial after electrocution

Mitie Engineering Services, the company Managing Director, Operations Director and Technical Services are all standing trial following the death of an electrician. All three men deny that the alleged offence by the company was committed with their consent or connivance or was attributable to their neglect. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

The death occurred in 2005 as the workman attempted to connect cables during the construction of a fitness centre in Dundee. The court has heard how he had touched a cable marked “not in use” that was not expected it to be live.

The charges include failing to provide a safe system of working, training, supervision, risk assessment and resources; failing to test circuits and wires into a distribution board before they were made live; and failing to ensure the board was not live while employees worked on circuits connected to it.

Comment: It is unusual for prosecuting authorities to proceed against three directors / senior managers in a health and safety case. Perhaps we will see more HSW Act Section 37 prosecutions now that the actions of senior managers are at the forefront of all fatal accident investigations considering possible Corporate Manslaughter or Homicide offences?

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