Suffolk manufacturer flouts laws and risks electrocuting employees

Posted on 4 Jan 2013

A Suffolk plastics manufacturer has been fined after a live 400 volt cable was found hanging off the wall.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uncovered serious issues with the construction and maintenance of the electrical systems at the Techplas factory in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard that HSE inspectors also found a broken socket with live 400 volt cabling coiled on the floor and 230 volt wiring exposed around switches.

Guards had also been removed from a plastic forming machine, exposing heating elements that could become dangerous as soon as the machine was switched on.

The company was served three Prohibition Notices ordering urgent improvements to be made after magistrates were told the electrical systems posed a significant and immediate danger to workers.

Techplas was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £5,930 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety legislations.

“The state of the electrical systems at Techplas was simply appalling,” said HSE inspector Saffron Turnell. “It is only a matter of luck that nobody had been injured or electrocuted.”

“Ignoring health and safety at work legislation puts workers’ lives at risk,” she added.