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Company sentenced after employee receives electric shock

Berneslai Homes, based in Gateway Plaza in Barnsley, has been fined following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into safety standards during maintenance work of council-owned domestic properties.

Barnsley Magistrates Court heard that a Berneslai Homes joiner received an electric shock while replacing a wooden garden fence around a domestic property in Barnsley on 26 November 2013.

The injured person struck an underground electric cable with a metal spade while excavating a post hole and received a shock.

The shock did not cause any lasting injury to the joiner, although the court was told that such incidents do pose a risk of fatal injury.

Berneslai Homes is responsible for managing 18,800 homes on behalf of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

The court found that the firm had failed to ensure the safety of its employee, in that work carried out near an electrical system was not planned in order to minimise the risk of a cable strike.

At a the hearing on Friday, 18 September, Berneslai Homes was fined £7,500 with £8,562 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, regulation 4(3).

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