Leeds Firm Prosecuted Over Worker's Electrocution

Leeds Magistrates' Court Was Told Poor Safety Practices Led To A Man's Electrocution


A company based in Leeds has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for safety failings after a worker was electrocuted.

The 22-year-old man involved in the accident, who has chosen to remain anonymous, had to spend five days in hospital after sustaining injuries to his arms and chest.

Leeds Magistrates' Court heard that the trainee electrical test technician was working at the Wilson Power Solutions site in Beeston on February 18th 2013 when the incident took place.

The court was told the man was conducting regular maintenance on a transformer, but when he touched one of the conductors, which was not supposed to be powered on to this extent, he received an electric shock of 415 volts.

HSE inspectors later found that a safer lower voltage should have been used for testing procedures, but that this functionality was broken - leaving the young maintenance worker at risk.

A report into the incident concluded that there were a number of unsafe practices at the Wilson Power Solutions site and this resulted in the handing down of a prohibition notice, which halted similar testing regimes until the employer could prove it had improved its safety measures.

For its part in the 22-year-old's injuries, Wilson Power Solutions was fined £6,500, as well as costs of £647 after it admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the case concluded and the verdict handed down, HSE inspector Julian Franklin said: "This young trainee was given unsafe, inappropriate and poorly maintained equipment to test an electrical transformer with no training or supervision.

"As a result he suffered a painful injury because his employer displayed a serious disregard for safety in what can be a hazardous working environment. We found a range of safety features had been defeated or fallen into disrepair."

The HSE has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to reducing the number of accidents involving electrocution and has advocated that devices be tested regularly to ensure they meet safety guidelines.