Lift engineer dies from prison electric shock

Grant Prior 6 years ago
Share

Lift giant ThyssenKrupp Elevator UK has been fined £100,000 after the death of an engineer from an electric shock while working at Pentonville prison in North London.

Steven Loake, 53, from Archway, died while trying to fix a fault on the chapel lift at Pentonville prison in Holloway on 5 October 2010.

The engineer did not isolate the lift from the power supply and was found dead by a prison employee the same day.

ThyssenKrupp Elevator UK was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £25,748 for breaches of safety legislation identified during the HSE investigation. It was never contended that the breaches directly caused Loake’s death.

Southwark Crown Court was told that the cause of the incident was Loake coming into contact simultaneously with a live conductor and metal parts of the lift structure, thus creating a path to earth and giving him a fatal electric shock.

Investigators found the lift had not been isolated from the mains and that Loake’s multimeter, an electrical test instrument, had exposed test probes, which can lead to ‘flashovers’ or arcing.

The HSE found TKE Ltd, which was the maintenance contractor for all prison service lifts in the UK, had failed to provide a safe system of work for its field operatives, who were required to carry out work on live electrical systems.

It had not provided sufficient information and instruction concerning work on electrical systems nor supervised employees properly.

TKE also failed in its duty to ensure Mr Loake’s work equipment was fit for use. The multimeter was not maintained in good repair and insulation had been stripped back exposing an excessive amount of metal, causing an increased risk of shock and burns.

After the case, HSE Inspector John Crookes said: “The company’s failures in providing a safe system of work along with appropriate information and instruction went back more than ten years.

“The combined effect of these inadequacies was that all TKE’s lift fitters and field operatives were exposed to an unacceptable risk when working with the company’s outdated procedures.

“In that sense, Mr Loake’s death, though not directly caused by the failings, can be seen as an example of the ‘accident waiting to happen’.

“The extent of the breaches demonstrates that TKE’s performance, as one of the leading companies in the UK lift industry, fell well below the required standard. They should be setting the standard in safety and provide an example to other operators.”

Latest news

Serious Fraud Office launches probe into North West sites

Series of addresses searched over suspected fraud on developments in Liverpool and Manchester
3 days ago

Summer site start for £200m Birmingham mixed use scheme

Colmore Tang to build Connaught Square scheme featuring 27-storey tower
2 days ago

Hitachi halts construction work at Wylfa nuclear site

Japanese giant fails to strike funding deal with UK government
3 days ago

Build-to-rent home construction jumps 40%

Number of rental homes in planning jumps 10% to over 60,000
2 days ago

BAM wins £320m Scotland and North East railways deal

AmcoGiffen, Story Contracting and QTS also secure framework places
3 days ago

Galliard and O’Shea team up for £130m Nine Elms scheme

Plan for over 260 homes on one of seven plots at former Royal Mail site
3 days ago

20 consultants win £100m Homes England framework

Aecom, Atkins, Jacobs, Mace and WSP make new multi-disciplinary framework
3 days ago

Buyer deposits repaid as Manchester’s tallest tower axed

54-floor St John's Place residential tower pulled in face of cooling demand
3 days ago

Billionaire Warren Buffett targets UK construction insurance

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance enters market as contractors struggle for cover
3 days ago

Skilled trades pay rates hit £1000-a-week in Midlands

Self employed workers enjoyed wage rises of 6.7% last year
3 days ago

Kier boss leaves to become Rydon construction head

Mark Norris leaves operations director role at Kier after 13 months
4 days ago

Go-ahead for £60m Nottingham HMRC hub

Bowmer & Kirkland believed to be in line to build Unity Square offices
3 days ago

Crooked bookkeeper stole £100k from cladding contractor

Court hears how mother and daughter used company cash to fund their lifestyles
4 days ago

£50m stands approved for Lords cricket ground

Builder ISG to start in August on new Edrich and Compton stands
4 days ago

Roof trusses fall on labourer

Darlington Council fined for poor site management
3 days ago

Union demands “period dignity” on construction sites

Multiplex first contractor to sign-up with campaign for better site toilets
4 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
9 months ago

Van Elle profit warning after “challenging” quarter

Lower margin contracts drag down performance as restructuring continues
4 days ago

Balfour boss in Brexit blast at Chancellor

Leo Quinn highlights construction's fears in conference call with ministers
4 days ago

Wates wins £90m post-Grenfell reclad job

Work to start this summer on five tower blocks at North London's Chalcots Estate
4 days ago

Construction forecasters bet on delayed soft Brexit

Crystal ball gazers believe UK will avoid workload fall with sluggish growth in 2019
4 days ago

Plan for £300m Lincolnshire power station

Czech power firm plans energy from waste plant next to South Humber Bank power station
4 days ago

Fitzgerald returns Bovis Homes to record profits

Margins restored and completions up 3% after 18-month turnaround
4 days ago

Late payment bill boosts calls for project bank accounts

Second reading due as MP fights to protect subcontractors from Carillion-style collapses
5 days ago

Plant hire giant Hawk falls into administration

Administrators pledge to keep kit working on site as they look for a buyer
5 days ago

HS2 forces firms to use least polluting trucks and plant

Rail project raises bar to exceed London emission standards
5 days ago

Watkin Jones hits record profits as pipeline grows

Firm enjoys three-year pipeline of 24 student rooms and build to rent sites
5 days ago

South Eastern Electrical went down owing £4m to suppliers

Contracts sold by administrators to associated company SEE Rail
5 days ago

Carey wins £16m Stratford Waterfront civils package

Cladding and mechanical packages will come up for bid in next three months
5 days ago

Mace confirmed for £350m Paddington Cube

Erith, Keltbray, J Coffey and Getjar chase basement contract
6 days ago

Contractor services