Warehouse management company fined after employee killed in electrical incident

A warehouse management solutions company has been fined after an employee was electrocuted while servicing an air compressor.

Maidstone Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 December 2017, Andrew Meade was carrying out pre-planned maintenance on an air compressor at a distribution centre in Gravesend, when he was electrocuted. He was not found for more than an hour following the incident. His injuries were fatal.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the control measures in place to prevent contact with electricity during maintenance activities were not suitable or sufficient. The electrical systems had not been tested or visually inspected since installation, and an incorrect isolating switch had not been identified.

Logistex Limited of Kettering Parkway, Kettering, Northamptonshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £23,358.16.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Joanne Williams said: “Poorly maintained electrical installations and faulty electrical appliances can kill or severely injure people; and cause damage to property.

“This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to implement safe systems of work and identify the risks. Had the company identified the correct isolation point for the compressor and ensured that employees were sufficiently trained and supervised in the lock off procedures expected of them then this fatal incident would not have occurred.”

 

 

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. Guidance can be found on the HSE web site: hse.gov.uk/safemaintenance/permits.htm www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg253.htm