Suffolk company fined over dangerous electrical fittings

A plastics manufacturing firm based in Suffolk has received a fine from Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found dangerous electrical fittings at its site.

The company, Techplas, was first inspected by HSE officers in October 2011 over an unrelated issue. However, whilst visiting the site in Sudbury, inspectors found a number of problems with the construction and maintenance of the electrical system.

Amongst the many problems found at the production site were the following:

  • Electric switches hanging off single-core cabling, leaving live 230v wires exposed
  • A live 400v cable left hanging off the wall
  • A broken socket with live 400v cabling coiled on the floor
  • Safety guards left off a plastic forming machine, leaving heating elements exposed

HSE officers issued Prohibition Notices to the company over the issues, which are included in most health and safety training courses which cover electrical items. Repeated requests were made for the company to make improvements, to prevent the electrical problems from posing a serious and immediate danger to employees.

However, it seems that insufficient changes were made, as Techplas eventually pleaded guilty to breaching the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company was ordered to pay £10,000 in fines and nearly £6,000 in court costs on January 3rd 2013.