A Hertfordshire contracting company and its managing director have been prosecuted for safety failings after a worker received an electric shock from a live junction box during poorly planned maintenance work in London. Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that his employer Fras Contractors Limited could and should have done more to protect the worker as he attempted to repair an external flood light. The Health and Safety Executive presented evidence that the routine job was flawed in a number of ways. Firstly, a ladder was placed on top of storage boxes underneath the junction box unit. These should have been moved to make space. Secondly, the cover of the junction box was removed before the electrical circuit within was isolated. As a result the worker received an electric shock when he touched the live junction box with his left hand. Adam Fras pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 in relation to the incident following the HSE investigation. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs. Fras Contractors Limited, of Station Road, Smallford, St Albans, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £1,500 with costs of £1,000. After the hearing, HSE inspector Jack Wilby said: “Adam Fras is a qualified electrician who really should have known better. He and his firm ignored the essentials, in this instance isolating the power and ensuring a ladder was used in a safe manner. As a result the worker was placed in totally unnecessary danger and he very nearly paid with his life.”

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