Lift engineer dies from prison electric shock

Grant Prior 5 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that all TKE’s lift fitters and field operatives were exposed to an unacceptable risk when working with the company’s outdated procedures.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

Shake-up for £2.9bn MoD hard FM contracts

Post-Carillion bid race for MoD estate and housing regional FM contracts
6 hours ago

Caddick takes workforce plastic-free

Workers given aluminium drinks bottles in bid to bin single-use plastics
3 hours ago

Wates wins 7th Leeds Wellington Place job

Work will start of £35m 4 Wellington Place project next month
13 hours ago

Kier targets £50m disposals to cut £375m debt

Firm sets out debt reduction plan in robust year-end results
18 hours ago

Betting Spy: Spurs to shrug off recent troubles

Tottenham can kick-start a win treble with Leicester and Crystal Palace
4 hours ago

Keltbray concrete structures boss exits

Keltbray Structures MD Gordon Dunne on gardening leave
1 day ago

141 jobs axed as M&E specialist George Birchall fails

Larger FM business George Birchall Service avoids administration
18 hours ago

Morgan Sindall bags £384m London scheme first phase

Hackney scheme includes an academy, leisure centre and six blocks of flats
18 hours ago

Mace confirms £180m Olympic Park East Village deal

Firm will fine-tune its 'rising factory' method on the No6 East Village project
18 hours ago

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

BIM and Microsoft HoloLens used to check M&E work
2 days ago

PM pledges extra £2bn for housing associations over 10 years

Longterm funding will be made available from 2022-2029
2 days ago

Jacobs to lead Edinburgh city centre transformation plan

Team will set out plan for historic overhaul of streets and public space
2 days ago

Costain and Galliford Try fined £2.8m after worker loses toes

Massive fine after accident at Cheshire water treatment works
2 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
5 months ago

Van Elle shareholders stage AGM revolt

Shareholders block board's ability to issue new shares for acquisitions
2 days ago

£100m Bristol sports arena plan at Ashton Gate stadium

Sports and convention centre will be attached to Lansdown Stand
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty raises £43m from hospital stake sale

Balfour sells 50% stake in Fife Hospital PPP
2 days ago

Kier offloads pensions unit for £3.5m

Third party pension management business administers half of all police pension
3 days ago

Willmott Dixon clinches £38m Winchester sports centre

Work to start in Spring 2019 on major leisure and sports complex
2 days ago

Architect TP Bennett reaches record turnover

Manchester office grows on back of city building boom
2 days ago

Brexit migration plan would “cripple construction”

Industry pleas ignored over need for steady flow of low-skilled site workers
3 days ago

Wates wins £16m Stockport college revamp

Work is due to start in the early new year on Wellington Road Campus
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty pioneers plastic pylons in Scotland

140 composite poles installed by new helicopter crane in just five days
3 days ago

Plan for 55-storey Manchester student skyscraper

Plans submitted for 168m tall red brick tower at Hulme Street
3 days ago

Crossrail sparks threaten stoppages over lack of loos

Electricians threaten to down tools at Bond Street station site
3 days ago

37 firms to pitch innovations for Heathrow expansion

Search for Heathrow’s Innovation Partners progresses for 3rd runway
3 days ago

Engie lands £52m Newbury PRS deal from Grainger

Construction to start by end of year on new "urban village"
3 days ago

Former Severfield boss joins Billington as chairman

Ian Lawson returns to constructional steelwork after recovering from illness
3 days ago

Czech facade specialist wins second scheme in Manchester

Sipral wins facade package for twin tower flats
3 days ago

Keepmoat closes West Midlands office after £13m hit

House builder aims to build more than 4,000 homes this year
3 days ago

Contractor services