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    CONTRACTOR AND DIRECTOR FINED OVER SAFETY FAILURES

    Workman receives electric shock and serious burns during ladder fall 

    Fras Contractors Limited and managing director director Adam Fras have been prosecuted after a worker received an electric shock from a live junction box during poorly planned maintenance work.

    Polish national Krzysztof Jabczanik was hospitalised in an induced coma as a result of the incident at a storage company on London on 4 August 2010. He also received serious burns to his left hand and suffered memory loss.

    Westminster Magistrates heard that more should have done more to protect the workman as he attempted to repair an external flood light. A ladder was placed on top of storage boxes underneath the junction box unit. The cover of the junction box was removed before the electrical circuit within was isolated and Mr Jabczanik received an electric shock when he touched the live junction box.

    Defendants ignored ‘the essentials’ of safety

    The work was supervised by Adam Fras who knew how to make the circuit safe but neglected to take appropriate action. He ran to isolate the power, but Mr Jabczanik was found unconscious at the foot of the ladder.

    Adam Fras pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs. Fras Contractors Limited, of St Albans, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,500 with costs of £1,000.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Jack Wilby said:

    “Adam Fras is a qualified electrician who really should have known better. He and his firm ignored the essentials, in this instance isolating the power and ensuring a ladder was used in a safe manner. As a result Mr Jabczanik was placed in totally unnecessary danger and he very nearly paid with his life.

    This case serves as a reminder of the risks from both electricity and working at height, and highlights that even experienced trades people should never underestimate the task in hand.”

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