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    DEFEATING POWER INTERLOCK CAUSED FLASHOVER

    Systems for managing electrical safety found to be inadequate

    A Nottinghamshire company has been fined £60,000 after two employees suffered serious burns from an electrical flash-over in September 2016.

    Southern Derbyshire Magistrates heard how the two employees were working to reinstate the power supply to a furnace after repair work had been completed by contractors. When the fuses were replaced the door to the fuse panel was closed which engaged the power interlock.

    The workman tried, unsuccessfully, to close the main switch. They opened the panel door again and decided to bypass the power interlock using a screwdriver. At this point the electrical flash-over occurred causing serious skin burns requiring surgery.

    Allowed to work live

    HSE investigators found that the company lacked “electrical safety rules, safe systems of work or a permit system”. There were no recorded systems or rules for working with electricity and no assessment of risk.

    The injured employees were not provided with any specific instructions on how to undertake the work safely and the company allowed employees to work on live conductors without consideration of the conditions stipulated in law.

    • BAS Castings Limited – of Pinxton, Nottinghamshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (3) and Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. It was fined a total of £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1353.90

    HSE inspector Leigh Stanley speaking after the case said:

    “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the injuries sustained by the employees could have been prevented.”

     

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