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Power supplier fined for the death of an employee

10th January 2013

The 59-year-old electrical engineer had been employed at a site in Essex in 2008 at the time of the work accident.

He had been working on a transformer tap charger in a Chelmsford electrical substation, adjusting voltage ratios by hand, when the device blew up.

Not only did this incident cause a blackout in part of the surrounding area, including a hospital, but it sadly caused the worker to die at the scene, despite Essex Fire and Rescue arriving soon after the incident took place.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that suitable risk assessments had not been undertaken by the company, and employees had not been properly trained to work with the dangerous equipment at the substation.

The power supplier was fined £275,000 for the accident at work and ordered to pay £145,000 in court costs. It has since modified the procedures undertaken by its employees to reduce the risk posed to staff.

An HSE inspector involved in the case stated, “There is no room for error or complacency when working with high voltage equipment.”

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