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Doncaster Council electrician’s death leads to £400,000 fine

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Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council has been fined £400,000 in the Doncaster Crown Court. The prosecution followed the death of an electrician working in one of the council offices in 1997.

The electrician had been called to repair a heating unit in a false ceiling when he came into contact with some exposed electrical wires. There was evidence that council managers had been aware of the danger for some time but had failed to take the appropriate steps or to warn the electrician.

David Cotton, Head of Operations of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the region said, “I hope this fine will bring home to all employers, whether in the private or public sector, the high price of not properly discharging their responsibilities of ensuring the safety of people working on their property “

John Cullen, Head of HSE’s Services Sector said, “There is a lesson here too for all public bodies. Ministers and HSE expect public bodies to be exemplars in Health and Safety matters under proposals for revitalising Britain’s Health and Safety system”.

The case was brought by the HSE under the Health and Safety at Work Act. HSE was also awarded costs amounting to £30,000.

Doncaster Council has recently come under criticism and ridicule for running courses in ‘How to change a lightbulb’.

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