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Norwich director gets suspended prison and community service for dangerous electrics

Date:
13 September 2013

The director of a Norwich giftware manufacturing company has been given a suspended six-month prison sentence and 180 hours of community service for safety failings in relation to electrical systems at the company’s premises.

Norwich Crown Court heard today (13 September 2013) that an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) had found that Mr Lustig was found to have dangerous electrical installations and equipment in his workplace.

In addition, inspectors told the court that the company and its director, Michael Lustig, had failed to report the fall of an employee despite it being classed as a major incident.

Dorothy Amos, aged 49, had been working at Homenaturals Ltd’s manufacturing plant on Burton Close, Norwich, when the incident occurred on 19 December 2011.

She had slipped on a floor strewn with debris from the manufacturing process and sustained a serious leg fracture that has kept her off work ever since.

Mr Lustig was found guilty of breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the electrical systems at the manufacturing unit. The prison sentence he received will be suspended for 18 months and he was also disqualified from being a company director for three years.

In addition, both Homenaturals Ltd, of Burton Close, Norwich, and Mikael Lustig in his capacity as sole director of the company, admitted a single breach of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995.

Mr Lustig and the company were fined a total of £300 for failing to report Mrs Amos’s fall.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Malcolm Crowther, said:

"Employers and the self-employed have a legal duty to ensure electrical installations and equipment are safe for use. You should always use a qualified electrician when you install wiring and equipment, and get the electrics periodically checked and tested by an electrician.

"Additionally, the Health and Safety Executive identified a number of issues in relation to Mrs Amos’s fall, which could easily have been avoided had the floor surface been free of debris and kept clear and tidy.

"Incidents and injuries like this must be reported, and this did not happen.

"HSE will not hesitate to prosecute where failings of this kind occur and where workers are placed at unnecessary risk."

To find out more preventing slips and trips in the workplace visit www.hse.gov.uk/slips

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states: "It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety."
  3. Regulation 3(1) (b) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 states: "any person at work suffers a major injury such as a result of an accident arising out of or in connection with work must report the injury to the Health & Safety Executive"

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