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Kenard Engineering Company shells out £12,000 after teenage apprentice electrocuted in fall
A DARTFORD engineering firm has had to shell out £12,000 after a teenage apprentice was electrocuted and fell three metres from a ladder.
The apprentice engineer was just 17 on June 15 last year when he received an electric shock from badly wired equipment at the Kenard Engineering Company factory in Dartford.
The young employee, who does not wish to be named, fell nearly three metres to the floor as he recoiled from the bolt of electricity suffering a herniated disc and numbness in his lower back.
He has since returned to work but Kenard Engineering, based in Green Street Green Road, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive and prosecuted at Dartford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The teenager was helping a maintenance worker to move a pillar-mounted crane and when it was in place and wired-up, he climbed a ladder to plug in computer equipment, the court heard.
When his hand touched the top of the pillar, it ‘earthed’ him and at the same time, the pillar he was holding on to for balance became live as a wire had been connected wrongly into the earth.
HSE found Kenard Engineering had failed to ensure their working systems were safe by allowing someone without the proper competence and experience to wire up the crane.
The firm was fined £10,000 and told to pay £1,981 in costs after admitting breaching safety regulations governing the use of electricity in the workplace.
HSE Inspector Rob Hassell said: "This was a needless injury to a young and inexperienced worker.
"It could have been avoided by Kenard Engineering by simply ensuring that electrical work was carried out by suitably qualified personnel.
"Working with electricity is a high risk operation and fatalities do occur. All companies need to ensure they take suitable precautions when planning maintenance work."
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