Fatal health and safety breaches lead to fine for Bristol firm

A property development firm based in Bristol has been fined more than £125,000 after health and safety breaches were found to have led to the death of an employee.

Birakos Enterprises Limited was prosecuted and brought before Bristol Magistrates’ Court following the death of 23-year-old Danny Edwards, a plumber from Bristol. Mr Edwards had been installing a washing machine in a kitchen in Pollacks House in Clifton when he was fatally electrocuted.

It was later found in a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation that the socket which powered the washing machine had been wired incorrectly. This meant that when the plumber touched a copper water pipe at the back of the machine, he suffered a massive electric shock.

Mr Edwards’ employers, Birakos Enterprises Limited, had signed off the kitchen’s electrics as being safe, even though the wiring was incorrectly carried out and was very dangerous.

The company was found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations, as well as electrical safety regulations, and was fined £125,000 as a result. Court costs of £50,000 were also requested by the HSE. Following the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Frain said:

“Danny Edwards should have been protected by his employers. Instead he was allowed to work on a machine in which a socket was obviously wired incorrectly.”