Firm fined for health and safety breaches after apprentice injury

An engineering firm based in the Kent town of Dartford has been prosecuted and fined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after safety breaches led to one of its apprentice workers suffering an electric shock.

The incident occurred back in June 2012 when the 17-year-old apprentice, who hasn’t been named, was assisting a maintenance worker in moving a pillar-mounted crane. He climbed a ladder to plug in computer equipment once the crane was moved, and received an instant electric shock from the cable tray socket. The pole he was holding onto also became ‘live’, as wiring had been carried out incorrectly.

The young worker fell from his ladder to the ground nearly three metres below, the fall causing him to suffer a herniated disc and other injuries to his back.

His employer, Kenard Engineering Company Ltd, was prosecuted by the HSE for failing to allowing a worker without the proper experience and competence, as well as health and safety training, to attempt to wire up the crane. For this and a general failure to ensure that working systems were safe, the company was eventually fined £10,000 and ordered to pay nearly £2,000 in court costs.

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