Health and safety should always be a top priority in the workplace, and should be an area of your day-to-day business operations that should not be overlooked, as failure to do so could result in serious injury and consequences.
This is exactly what happened to a Nottinghamshire foundry, after two of its employees suffered serious burns from an electrical flashover, after they attempted to resonate the power supply to one of the furnaces following repair work that had been completed by outside contractors.
As a result, BAS Castings Ltd were summed to Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on the 2nd September 2016.
The court heard that both employees had worked together to replace the fuses, however when they tried to shut the door to the fuse panel, which engaged with the interlock and tried to close the main switch, they discovered that it would not operate. So they decided to bypass the lock by using a screwdriver, which caused an electrical flashover to occur.
As a result, both employees suffered serious burns and were hospitalised, as they required surgery. In total the employees spent two weeks in hospital recovering.
During the case, the court heard how an investigation was carried out by the Health and Safety Executive at the time of the incident, and revealed that BAS Castings Ltd did not have any electrical safety rules, safe systems of work or a permit system in place. They also had no guidelines or recorded safety rules to hand that outlined the correct procedures for working with electricity.
But that’s not all… the investigation also highlighted that there was no assessment of risk and the injured employees were not provided with any specific instructions on how to undertake the work safely, which breaks all law abiding health and safety guidelines.
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.”
The outcome of the case:
BAS Castings Limited of Wharf Road Industrial Estate, 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
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