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Substation Explosion Injures Two UK Men

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Two security guards are in a critical condition in hospital after they were seriously injured in an explosion at an ex-colliery.

The two men, aged 38 and 26, suffered serious facial burns in the blast at the former Welbeck Colliery site, near Meden Vale, in Nottinghamshire on Saturday.

They have not yet been identified but are being treated in the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, where they are both said to be in a critical but stable condition.

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: “It is understood that the men were working at the site as security personnel.”

He added: “Detectives are liaising with the site owners, UK Coal, with the fire service and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to determine the sequence of events leading up to the incident.”

The explosion was reported at around 7.30pm on Saturday and involved an electrical sub-station above the ground.

A spokeswoman for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said the explosion was from an electrical component in the 40m x 30m single-storey building. She added: “The fire itself was very small. The main issue was the explosion itself and the two people injured. Investigations are ongoing.”

A spokesman for UK Coal said it is thought the two security guards were the only people on site at the time of the explosion and they called the emergency services in the aftermath of the blast.

A statement from UK Coal said: “There has been no mining at the colliery since it was closed in May 2010, following which all of the underground shafts and workings have been sealed and closed. The electricity substation is situated on the surface and supplies both the site and surrounding area when required.

“The two injured men were not UK Coal employees, but were contracted to be working as security guards on the site. UK Coal continues to help the police and HSE investigations.”

Story Via The Press Association

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HSE Fines Construction Firm For Not Following Electrical Work Regulations

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

United Kingdom – A man suffered a serious electrical shock after cutting into cable in an accident at a building site.

The unnamed man worked for Wain Homes (North West) Ltd at the time of the incident in November 2010. The firm was building a group of new houses and refurbishing an existing farm house as part of the same project.

The 42 year old labourer was asked to cut an electricity cable that was running through the cellar of the farm property. He had been told that there was no power running through the cable and that it was safe to cut.

However, when he cut the cable he suffered a 230 volt electric shock. The shock was strong enough to throw him across the room.

The HSE investigated the accident and found that the construction firm had not checked existing cables on the property to see if they were live or not. The company were prosecuted for breaking construction regulations and pleaded guilty at court recently.

They were fined £8,000 for breaking rules designed to protect the safety of workers.

2 Electrical Contractors Suffer Burns in Electrical Accident in UK

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Glenrothes, Scotland – Two men are recovering in hospital after being injured in an explosion at a Fife engineering factory on Monday.  The men, both electricians, were working at Raytheon Systems in Glenrothes when the incident happened shortly after noon.

It is understood the 48-year-old and 22-year-old were both contractors working for local firm CF Electrical Services.

The 500 employees at the factory — which supplies to the defence, automotive and space industries — were evacuated after the accident and the two casualties were treated for serious burns to their faces and hands.

They were then rushed under police escort to Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, where they were monitored in the intensive care unit.

It was stressed that, while serious, their injuries are not thought to be life threatening and their condition was described as comfortable.

The two men, who have not been named, had been carrying out maintenance on one of the factory’s distribution boards and it is thought something fell and caused the explosion.

Fife Fire and Rescue Service sent two appliances to the building on Queensway Industrial Estate, and firefighters applied a cooling treatment to the men’s faces until an ambulance arrived.

As a precaution, firefighters then entered the factory, which makes components used in missiles and tanks used by NATO forces.

Paramedics then spent several minutes applying further emergency treatment before requesting a police escort to transfer the casualties to hospital.

It is believed that as well as burns, the men may have suffered some damage to their airways in the explosion.

Nick West, communications director with Raytheon UK, said: ”Two contractors were injured earlier today, whilst maintaining electrical equipment on our site. Clearly it would be inappropriate to make any comment until the incident has been fully investigated.”

A spokeswoman for the Health and Safety Executive said the organisation was aware of the incident.

”We are making initial enquiries and an inspector is on site this afternoon,” she said.

Story via TheCourrier.Co.UK

Home Electrical Safety Check App Launched in UK

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

A new study finds that millions of people in the UK expose themselves and their families to potentially fatal accidents in the home through simple electrical blunders because of an alarming lack of knowledge about the real danger of electricity.

Today, on the birthday of the National Grid, the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) is launching a free smartphone app to help people ensure their families and homes are safe. 

The research from ESC reveals a dangerous level of ignorance about the perils of electricity in UK households. In the past year, almost one million people have repaired an appliance while it is still plugged in; despite the fact this can result in a fatal or serious injury.

Other electrical ‘confessions’ included knowingly using faulty plugs or sockets (12.2 million people), ignoring burning smells coming from an appliance or socket (1.5 million people) and trailing cables near hot surfaces or cookers (2 million people). 

People are severely misjudging the risks involved with electricity.  At least one person dies each week from its everyday use, while 350,000 people are seriously injured annually[.

Yet those surveyed were as concerned about having an electrical accident as they were of being in a plane crash, or getting struck by lightning[iii]. In reality, on average, only one person in the UK is killed by lightning each year[iv] and no one has died in a commercial plane accident in 11 years[v]. 

Easy to prevent

Most electrical accidents can be prevented by a Residual Current Device (RCD), a life-saving device which prevents you from getting a fatal electric shock if you touch something live, such as a bare wire.

It works by cutting power if there is a surge. However, the ESC study shows a serious lack of knowledge of this vital safety device: 70% of people surveyed do not know what an RCD is and almost half of all UK homes (49%) don’t have adequate RCD protection.

In contrast, smoke alarms are owned by 88% of the population but nearly half[vi] (49%) of accidental housefires in the UK are caused by electricity.

Celebrity home improvers, Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, want people to take charge of their electrical safety. Colin said: “We have seen plenty of dodgy wiring in our time but often it is the simple things that people could check themselves – such as a wire left near a hot surface or an overloaded socket – that can lead to a serious accident.

“We are urging everyone – including those looking to move into a new home – to download the free ESC app as a basic protection for themselves and their families.”

Free and impartial help

The new ESC app, which launches today, allows anyone – whether they live in the home or are looking to move into it – to do a quick, visual check, to ensure its electrically safety. Designed to be as easy-to-use as possible, the app highlights potential dangers in each room and explains how to resolve simple, non-technical problems.

Where more serious issues are flagged, people are advised to use a registered electrician. The app is available for iPhone and Android phones – just go to the App Store or Android Market, search for ‘Home Electrical Safety Check’ then follow the instructions to download.

Director General of the ESC, Phil Buckle, said: “Electricity has become vital to our lives since the formation of the National Grid, 76 years ago.

“Yet even though we are using more electrical products than ever before, there is a worrying gap between the public’s perception of electrical danger and the reality, with people making simple yet potentially fatal errors that can be easily prevented.

“The ESC’s Home Electrical Safety Check app was designed to bridge that gap. We wanted to create something which people would find effortless but essential.

“It can be used any time in your home. It can also be used as a basic tool when viewing accommodation, whether you are planning to buy or rent.

“Landlords too, should find it useful, as it will allow them to review their properties to ensure tenant safety.”

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RCD Promoted to Curb Electrical Accidents at Homes in UK

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Buckinghamshire, UK – Young carers from Milton Keynes recently had the chance to visit Hazard Alley Safety Centre and learn how to stay safe from Electrical Fires, thanks to The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) funding.

Electricity is now the cause of half of all accidental fires in UK homes. At least one person dies every week in the UK and 350,000 are seriously injured every year. The ESC grant will go towards educating Milton Keynes young carers about the common causes of electrical accidents and how to protect themselves and their homes.

The Centre, based on Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes is an indoor, interactive educational facility which delivers safety messages in an experiential way. It houses a small “town” with life-sized scenarios including a road, houses, a garage, a lake and a building site. Children have an exciting experience whilst learning important safety messages

Many electrical accidents can be prevented by a Residual Current Device (RCD), a device that protects against fatal electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. An RCD can either be installed in a fusebox or bought from about £10 for a local DIY or garden centre – However, more than half of us – that’s 13 million homes – don’t have one . Hazard Alley Safety Centre will help educate young carers about the importance of RCDs.

The funding from the ESC has allowed the Safety Centre to offer a specially adapted tour to Young Carers in Milton Keynes free of charge – Sarah Paynes, a young carers support worker from Carers Milton Keynes said ” Young carers are very often the responsible person in the home when looking after someone who is ill or disabled and it is very important that they receive this education around safety in the home. We are very grateful to the Safety Centre for providing us with this opportunity and know that the children who attended had a fantastic time. They were very excited about the visit !” ”

Lorraine Carney, Senior Campaigns Manager at the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) said: “Our primary objective is to help people stay safer around electricity. So we are delighted to work with the Hazard Alley Safety Centre to support their innovative scheme. According to government statistics, almost half of all accidental fires in UK homes – that’s over 20,000 each year – are caused by electricity, so it’s vital that people are made aware of where electrical dangers may arise in their homes and understand how to prevent an electrical-related accident happening.”

To find out more about the Safety Centre go to www.safetycentre.co.uk and more about the Carers Milton Keynes www.carersmiltonkeynes.org.

Mother & Son Electrocuted in Bath

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

London, UK – A mother and her three-year-old son died from electric shock when a heater fell into their bath.

The woman’s husband had installed the appliance to keep the family warm only a day earlier.

Today he told how he broke down the bathroom door when they did not answer his shouts. Romanian-born Vasilica Arsene, 37, pulled the heater from the bath and dragged wife Liliana, 34, and son Filip from the water.

Police, firemen and paramedics rushed to the house in Tennyson Road, Harold Hill, near Romford, just before 8.30pm.

Filip, was pronounced dead at the scene and Liliana died early this morning in hospital.

The portable heater was on a unit next to the bath and it appeared to have been accidentally knocked into the water. The alarm was raised when Mr Arsene’s other son Marco, seven, tried to talk to his mother.

Speaking through a translator, Mr Arsene said: “Marco went up to see his mother and did not get any answer. I shouted up the stairs and also got nothing. The door was locked, so I broke it down with my body.

“When I entered the bath was running and I saw my wife and son in the water. I pulled the heater out and pulled out my little baby and wife.” He shouted for help to Florin Enciu, who also lives in the house with his wife and son.

He got another friend, Stefan Davidescu, to dial 999 as he cannot speak English. Mr Arsene said: “Words cannot describe how I am feeling. I put the heater in there because it was cold. I feel so bad and so sorry.”

Mr Davidescu said the whole family, including the couple’s daughter Lidia, 14, were devastated, adding: “It was an accident. They were happily married, they had no problems.”

Mr Arsene, a scrap metal worker from Calarasi in Romania, moved to London from Italy two months ago, with his wife and children following a month later.

Today police were carrying out a forensic examination of the house. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We were called at about 8.30pm. Officers attended with the fire and ambulance service and found a woman and a child who had suffered a cardiac arrest following an apparent electrocution.”

A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “It is the most terrible tragedy. I saw the boy being carried into the ambulance. His body was limp. He was totally pale.

“The ambulance didn’t move for 30 minutes while they tried to resuscitate him. I saw the boy quite often. He seemed like a lovely little boy.”

Toys belonging to the child were still strewn around the front garden today.

Story via ThisIsLondon.co.uk

UK Company Fined for Electrical Safety Violation

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Gloucestershire, UK – Edward Mervyn Allen, 59, of Lydney, Gloucestershire, died at Kington Horse Show, Ovals Farm, on 11 September 2009.

Mr Allen died when equipment he was carrying on a truck came into contact with overhead high voltage power lines, Hereford Magistrates’ Court heard.

Kington Horse Show and Agricultural Society admitted failing to ensure the health and safety of work premises.

The charity was also ordered to pay costs totalling £15,523.83.

‘Simple measures’

The case against the charity was brought before the court on Wednesday by Herefordshire Council’s environmental health team following its investigation.

Mark Balysz, of the council, told the court the organisers of the show had failed to provide Mr Allen with a safe pitch and had not considered the risk posed by the overhead power lines at the showground site.

The council said that after arriving at the site Mr Allen started raising the silo on the back of his lorry to a vertical position.

As he did so, there was an “arcing of electricity” towards the silo which resulted in him being electrocuted.

Mr Balysz said: “The pitch Mr Allen was taken to was unsafe and posed a risk to health.

“Many simple measures could have been taken to prevent the accident and they could have advised all stallholders of the power lines and asked people what they intended to do on their pitch.”

The council said after the hearing that the Kington Horse Show and Agricultural Society had expressed regret and remorse over the death which had devastated everyone involved in the show.