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Firm fined after workers exposed to risk of electric shock

24-08-2012

A Tyneside firm has been fined after an electrical system was left in a dangerous condition exposing workers to the risk of electric shock or electrocution.

On 16 August, Darlington Magistrates' Court heard that Coolcheck Refrigeration Ltd. failed to ensure parts of an electrical system were left in a safe condition following work carried out to disconnect a refrigerated counter unit at business premises in Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the company after its investigation found that an employee of Coolcheck Refrigeration Ltd. had disconnected the unit and placed electrical tape over the switch of the circuit breaker to indicate that the circuit should remain isolated. However the copper conducting wires of the disconnected cable became dangerously exposed.

The court was told that two weeks later a worker in the building moved the cable to carry out some work. When he did this the copper conducting wires touched the wall of the building and an electrical short circuit occurred.

Coolcheck Refrigeration Ltd., of Unit D4 Bergen Close, Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, North Shields, was fined a total of £7,000 and ordered to pay £2,500 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

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