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ME PAT Newsletter - Feb/March 2015

  • Posted on: 23 April 2015
  • By: Mike
Good morning / good afternoon or even good evening to those out there that work for themselves or indeed for large businesses, working from a variety of offices in business centres through to humble offices at home or “Home Office” as I prefer to call it…. I’d like to introduce you to our “occasional” newsletter from ME PAT Services on health and safety in the work place and those “working from home” with regards to Portable Appliance Testing.

Incidentally the word “occasional” is a tactful way of covering up a missing Feb newsletter as we have been soooo busy coming out of New Year with around 10-12 enquiries about PAT testing – most have been or in the process of getting carried out. It’s an interesting combination of all of the networking that I do that the message is getting through about the importance of electrical safety!! But it's funny that I was talking about the turnaround of the business that it almost feels like an “overnight success” but as many business owners will know it takes many, many years to get a business off the ground and that one day it “suddenly” feels like its took off…. Actually it was summed nicely up for me by a quote on the opening page of our HSBC on line account….

“Its Funny How Many Nights it Takes to be an Overnight Success?”
Anyway moving on; it’s the first day of spring and the snow drops, crocuses and the daffodils are peaking out front under that huge carpet of matted dead twigs and leaves outside our office window and gives us the encouragement that the nights are getting lighter and the skies are getting brighter [but its still cold!!], but hey we are getting there.
We have a few “stage and screen” related electrical stories, a couple of “I do not believe it” stories from the files of the HSE about “Health and Safety gone mad” and the latest on my up and coming book launch – Newcastle Old & New – The Story So Far”…

Electric shocks put cinema operator in court
A cinema operator has been fined after two employees received electric shocks from a popcorn machine.
Manchester Magistrates Court fined Cineworld Ltd. £9,000, plus costs, after two members of staff at its Didsbury multiplex received electric shocks from a machine that keeps popcorn warm.
After one employee received a shock, management were alerted, but failed to isolate the machine or post warning notices to stop staff using it. Later the same day, a second worker was shocked when he turned the machine off.

An investigation by Manchester City Council found the machine had a faulty switch and a panel missing, meaning a live circuit board was exposed. Neither worker was seriously injured by the shocks, but the court heard that they could have been fatal.

Cineworld Cinemas pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, Chair of Notts County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “There is a risk that these chargers could cause a fire or could electrocute someone so we are urging people not to use the affected tablets" Full story at

£90 million of counterfeit Christmas presents could put lives at risk
Trading Standards warn against buying counterfeit goods, telling shoppers 'if the price seems too good to be true, it normally is'. Britons spend £90 million a year on counterfeit toys and goods for Christmas that could put lives at risk, a government watchdog has warned.

Some £22 billion is likely to be spent on Christmas by UK households this year, and officials are warning of the dangers of shoppers picking up bogus goods as they look to bag a bargain and ease the financial strain.

In 2013/14 customs officials detained 21,000 consignments of fake goods at UK borders. In one operation, almost 170,000 dangerous and counterfeit goods were stopped from entering the UK by border staff at Dover Docks last month, one of the area's biggest ever hauls. Around 3,000 Christmas lights that were not properly insulated and could have caused electric shocks were seized, along with almost 5,500 counterfeit toys. The rest of the goods were sent back to China after they were found not to conform with European standards.

And Finally….

Newcastle Old and New: the story so far?

The Year of the Book, “My Book!”
2015 will be the year of my book as we finished the last chapter just before Christmas of a very personal project "Newcastle Old and New: The Story So Far", a revision and rewrite of a “book” from school almost 40 years ago. This will be about 20 stories from the original project and along with a host of linked small stories and postscripts [16 at the last count and growing] to bring a “touristy” appeal about it.  I am pleased to announce that I have confirmed with the Central Library in Newcastle to do the launch of the book there on Wednesday the 14th of October 2015. Times to be confirmed, it will be initially in the Bewick Hall but again will confirm nearer the time. There, that’s a set date to work towards… better get moving, eh?
Talks on Newcastle Old & New, The “Journey” as well as the story so far…

I have a book talk lined up over the next four weeks;
Thursday 12th March 2015: 4Networking Breakfast meeting, Broomside Park, Durham
Friday 13th March 2015: 4Networking Breakfast meeting, Morton Park Beefeater, Darlington.
If anyone would be willing to let me do a talk about a subject I am so passionate about then please let me know, incidentally the talks are not all about places in Newcastle, it’s also about a traumatic journey to get to where I am today, and quite a journey at that!!

Ta ta for now, Have a great day, week and month!!

Yours Mike and Alison McCoy
ME PAT Services Ltd

07865 923716