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PROPERTY FIRM PROSECUTED OVER ELECTROCUTION

Death of plumber caused by failure to test electrical installation

Property development company, Birakos Enterprises Limited, has been prosecuted after plumber, Danny Edwards aged 23, was electrocuted whilst installing a washing machine in a property in Bristol on 19 March 2008. The Court heard that the electrical socket serving the machine was wired incorrectly.

The kitchen electrical installationhad been ‘signed off’ as safe by the electrical division of Birakos Enterprises Limited. However, investigation discovered the live and earth wires had been connected incorrectly in the socker causing the washing machine metalwork to become ‘live’ when plugged in.

It is believed that whilst Mr Edwards was working on the machine he simultaneously contacted a copper water pipe and the rear of the machine thereby causing the massive electric shock.

Fault should have been found and resolved during testing

Birakos Enterprises Limited of Bristol was found guilty of breachin Regulation 4 (1) and 16 of the Control of Electricity Regulations 1989 and Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined a total of £125,000 and ordered to pay costs of £50,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Frain said:

“Danny Edwards should have been protected by his employers. Instead he was allowed to work on a machine in which a socket was obviously wired incorrectly.

The fault should have been found during testing but this fault was left unresolved and ultimately led to the death of this young father.”

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