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ME PAT Newsletter - March 2014

  • Posted on: 13 March 2014
  • By: Mike

Hi folks

And welcome to the next edition of our newsletter highlighting electrician safety in the office, pub, club, factory in fact just about everywhere where you have employees and customers.... 

As I look out onto a gorgeous spring day it looks like a lovely time to go for a walk but by heck you need to wrap up as it is certainly colder than it looks….. I find that all in all spring can be a very “deceptive” time of the year where as it is neither one thing nor another!

Whilst on the subject of “deceptive” or should I say not being able to see the true picture on the surface I would like to take this time to mention water damage because as you know it has been a “wet” winter.... my heart goes out to all of those effected by the floods in the south of England, with hundreds of homes flood damaged  and thousands of people displaced from their homes and businesses and start the long slog to rebuilding their lives again once their premises have dried out and all their possessions are replaced [some of course are irreplaceable…]  I think we can safely say that where there has been a North South divide for many years I think it is now been replaced with a tide mark….?

Closer to home we must not forget that North East and the North West of England has had quite a bit of flooding too, mainly in Northumberland and over in Cumbria as well, this naturally doesn't get reported on the national news… well if any of you have suffered from flooding then you MUST get your electrics checked out afterwards, not only behind the sockets [which we call fixed line testing] but also all of your electrical appliances in the affected flooded area. You see as I mentioned above, water can be very “deceptive” as it has a knack of getting in everywhere and although everything looks fine on the surface once it gathers inside the electrics then that’s where the damage will occur and could be very serious indeed for those handling the equipment at the time – so please, please get you electrics checked out, especially if you have been unfortunate to suffer even the smallest amount of flooding at home or even at your place of work.

Below are a couple of stories from the “world of electrical safety” the first about a couple in London leasing property in an unsafe condition and later a story about a factory in Leeds with “unsafe” testing equipment which resulted in serious injuries for an employee and the company  who were later in court fined heavily……

Unsafe electrics put landlord couple in court


A local newspaper report has highlighted the case of a couple who rented out their property in a "dangerous" condition in London's East End being fined £14,400.

The five-storey terraced house in Bow Road, Bow, occupied by several tenants, did not comply with security, fire and electrical safety laws.

The landlords were summoned with their property lettings company, SAB Associates, and found guilty by Thames magistrates of offences under the Housing Act. Magistrates heard that they failed to carry out “essential security, fire safety and electrical work” after 21 months which was first brought to their attention in May, 2011, magistrates heard.

Matters were still not properly dealt with when environment officers called again during a follow-up visit more than a year-and-a-half later, when the couple failed to produce an electrician's certificate.

There were still electrical faults, while the fire alarm system and fire doors did not comply with the safety regulations, the court was told.

The Newham Recorder reported that, the summons was a warning shot from the Town Hall that "landlords have a moral duty and legal obligation to make sure homes they rent out are safe."

Unsafe test equipment leads to HSE fine


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that a Leeds firm has been fined for safety failings after a trainee technician needed skin grafts after receiving an electric shock while using unsafe testing equipment.

A 22-year-old Bradford man spent five days in hospital with injuries to his arms and chest after the incident. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted Wilson Power Solutions after finding a series of safety failures both in the equipment being used or provided, and in the working practices at the firm.

The court was told the trainee was testing a transformer but the test equipment had exposed conductors at 415 volts. When he touched a connector he received an electric shock. HSE found equipment at a safer low voltage could have been used but it was broken. HSE also identified he had been working inside a test enclosure where the interlocking mechanism had been defeated so power was not cut off when he entered. In addition emergency stop buttons were broken and unusable.

HSE served an enforcement notice on Wilson Power requiring improvements to be made to its safety measures and procedures. The company was fined £6,500, with £647 in costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the case, HSE Inspector Julian Franklin said: "This young trainee was given unsafe, inappropriate and poorly maintained equipment to test an electrical transformer with no training or supervision. The firm failed to ensure that risks from a known hazard were controlled and allowed equipment to fall into disrepair, resulting in a potentially life-threatening incident." More details

Because it has been a hectic month business wise in fact since New Year [which just seem like five minutes ago?], I have to admit that I suffer from “Monday to Friday Itis” in other words I’ll  blink and weeks just fly by especially as we have and are really busy with new business I had promised to include a cartoon to lighten the mood, on this occasion I have included an amusing photo which includes the famous “Del Boy” Robin Reliant from “Only Fools and Horse”.   Well a few years ago there was an exhibition of this and many other showbiz vehicles from a private collection called “The Cars and the Stars” based in Keswick but on show at the Ellington Colliery exhibition hall in Ashington – well I couldn't resist a snap shot…..

So what has this got to do with the price of bread you may ask? Well I have this photo on my PC and look at from time and it makes me laugh and it makes me think about, not only myself being in business but a lot of my fellow small business colleagues who work very long hours to achieve our goals; whereas first of all there is NO comparisons want so ever between the shoddy goods that “Dell Boy and Rodney” would hawk at the local market stall or street corner and the quality goods and services we and others provide… but you all must admit that that infamous classic phase that Del Boy keeps spouting to Rodney does actually keep us going and motivated;
Or is it just me??

Anyway thanks so much for your time and have a good day, a good week and good month of March and if there is anything I can help, please call me.

All the best
ME PAT Services Ltd