Monday, 29 April 2013

Tool hire company fined £27,000 for faulty electrical equipment


Arrow Tools, a tool supply company has been fined £27,000 (inc. costs) for endangering workers after neglecting to maintain electrical systems and equipment.
The circumstances were:
  • Tools including power hammers and grinding machines, as well as fixed electrical systems, were so poorly maintained  that they presented immediate and potentially fatal risks to employees.
  • The failings were identified by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) during an inspection on 19 November 2009
  • The HSE served four Improvement Notices on the company, including one to improve management arrangements, over an 18 month period.
  • Despite two extensions being granted to comply with the terms of the notices, subsequent investigations in 12 Nov 2010 and 7 April 2011 found there were still insufficient arrangements to properly manage risks.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Peter Burns said:
"It is important that companies recognise and acknowledge the risks posed by poorly maintained electrical systems, which could ultimately result in death – as was the real danger here. The best way to ensure that these and other risks are controlled is to have effective management systems in place. Arrow Tools were served several Improvement Notices, including one in relation to their management arrangements, and were given ample time to comply. Yet they failed to do so and put their employees at risk for an extended period of time in the process. Companies have a legal duty to protect the health and safety of their employees and other around them and this includes complying with improvement notices."

Source: HSE HSE-E-018/13

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