Category Archives: Electrical Safety

10 year old dies after being given a ‘high voltage’ electric shock in Blackpool hotel

A schoolboy has died after he received a ‘high voltage’ electric shock in a hotel reception.

The 10-year-old boy was found unresponsive following the incident at Tiffany’s Hotel, on Blackpool promenade, with injuries suggesting a “high voltage” of electricity.

He was taken to hospital in a critical condition after emergency services were called to the hotel late on Sunday 3rd September 2023, but he died four days later, on 7th September, surrounded by his family, police said.

Following an initial police investigation this matter has now been passed to the local authority. A file will be prepared for HM Coroner

In a statement yesterday, a spokesman for the hotel said: “We are deeply saddened by this recent incident involving a child who has received a shock on Sunday evening within our reception lounge area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the child and their family during this distressing time.

“We want to reassure everybody that the health and safety of our guests and team remains our number one priority. We have taken the decision to voluntarily close temporarily whilst we undertake our own inspections.

“Our phone lines do remain open and we are working very closely with the Blackpool Council and the local enforcement to assist in their investigation.”

London cafe owner fined £60k after man dies as a result of faulty shower room electrics

A London cafe owner was given a £60,000 fine after a man died on the premises after being electrocuted.

Sukran Sanli, who owns Adams Café in London Road, CR0 2TD, and her company was also given a 26-week suspended prison sentence and told to do 200 hours of community service.

Her case was heard at Croydon Magistrates Court on Monday, March 20, after Croydon Council’s food and safety team investigated the death by electrocution of Mustafa Ozbek on January 21, 2020.

Mr Ozbek was living in a room at the back of the cafe.

Sanli had paid an unqualified electrician to carry out work twice in 2016 and 2019.

Mr Ozbek was electrocuted because there was no main earth connection to the incoming electrical supply and when a fault occurred on a circuit, the fuse did not operate to trip and cut off the electricity.

It meant metal pipework in the shower room became live with a dangerous voltage which resulted in his death.

The council’s investigation involved specialists from the Health and Safety Executive to inspect the cafe.

It found the electrics were “unsatisfactory” with a number of items identified as being “potentially dangerous”.

Sanli pleaded guilty to four charges, two against her and two against her company, relating to offences under the Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974.

Jason Perry, executive mayor of Croydon, said: “This is a tragic incident that could have been avoided.

“We will always seek the toughest penalties against business and property owners who endanger the lives of others through careless disregard for health and safety law.

“We hope that this very sad case serves as a stark warning to others, to make sure they are fulfilling their duties under the legislation and that all works are carried out by a qualified tradesperson, to avoid putting others at risk.”

Croydon Council is urging businesses to only employ qualified electricians, accredited by one of the approved bodies for electrical contractors, to carry out work on their installation.

These bodies include the Electrical Contractors Association, (ECA), NICEIC, and NAPIT.

Look out for the logos and check the registration of the electrician before allowing them to undertake work.

Health and Safety Executive issues safety notice regarding the lubrication of circuit breakers

The incorrect use and application of lubrication on HV and LV circuit breakers resulting in mal-operation and increased risk of catastrophic failure and downstream fire. Duty-holders and Specialist Electrical Contractors should ensure that their maintenance procedures associated with cleaning and lubrication of HV and LV circuit breakers meet with the requirements defined in HSG 230[3], BS 6423[4], BS 6626[5], BS 6867[6] and as prescribed in the manufacturer’s instructions. In particular, the maintenance procedure should ensure that the manufacturer instructions on cleaning and lubrication of the circuit breaker mechanism are followed at appropriate intervals, including the selection and application of the correctly specified lubricants (products) for the task.

Investigation into an explosion of a HV circuit breaker indicated that recently carried out maintenance may have been a causal factor. The incident resulted in catastrophic failure of the HV circuit breaker leading to fire / explosion and could have resulted in fatal injuries. Maintenance of HV and LV circuit breakers typically involves both the cleaning and lubricating of the operating mechanism. The HSE investigation found that the same physical product was used for both maintenance activities, but evidence shows the product was in fact only suitable for cleaning and NOT lubrication. This situation may have arisen because of the availability of different products, (for different purposes), within the same product range, or changes to the products composition over time whilst retaining the original name. It is essential that the correct product is used for each task.

Photograph of the HV oil circuit breaker taken after the catastrophic failure, which resulted in fire and explosion within the substation – Image via HSE

HV and LV circuit breaker mechanisms are required to operate at high speed to disconnect electrical faults with a high degree of reliability from the associated electrical system. To ensure the required performance is retained it is vital that the circuit breaker operating mechanisms are functionally checked and maintained periodically as per the requirements defined in relevant good practice HSG230[3], BS 6423[4], BS 6626[5] and, BS 6867[6] and as prescribed in the original manufacturer’s instructions.

If during functional testing (including circuit breaker timing tests) or during periodic planned preventative maintenance it is observed that the mechanism is slow to operate, it is good practice to relubricate the mechanism, adhering to the recommendations given in the manufacturer’s instructions. During the planning stage, this will involve identifying the correct type of lubrication to be applied to different parts of the mechanism and how it should be applied. In extreme cases, where the circuit breaker mechanisms are observed to be sticking due to old, congealed lubricant, it is common practice to apply a cleaning product to remove this prior to re-lubrication. Care should be taken to ensure that the cleaning products are compatible with the circuit breaker following the recommended procedure given in the manufacturer’s instructions before reapplying the manufacturer recommended lubricants.

It should be common knowledge in the switchgear industry that the incorrect use and application of lubrication has been a major cause of maloperation in switchgear and can lead to very serious consequences. However, observations made during several recent routine planned inspections relating to the maintenance of circuit breakers together with the findings from a recent HSE investigation – where an employee marginally escaped serious personal injury when an HV circuit catastrophically failed – has highlighted that this information may no longer be common knowledge. HSE routine inspections and investigation found evidence that some HV and LV specialist electrical maintenance contractors and end users commonly use aerosol based multi-purpose lubricants for BOTH cleaning and relubrication tasks.

The recent HSE investigation into the failed HV circuit breaker concluded that ‘stiction’ in the failed circuit breaker may have been a result of an incorrect aerosol based multipurpose lubricant being applied to the circuit breaker mechanism. This happened even though the circuit breaker had been maintained less than three months prior to the incident and was reported to be operating satisfactorily. Independent forensic analysis work conducted during the investigation showed that the multipurpose lubricant used during the maintenance of the failed circuit breaker prior to the incident, evaporated by 75% of its original weight within 2 weeks of application. The analysis concluded that for this reason, multipurpose lubricants containing solvents (e.g. white spirit) are unsuitable for use as a lubricant of this type of HV and LV switchgear.

In addition, historical research by other organisations recommended that hydrocarbon sprays or solvents should NOT be used on circuit breaker mechanisms.

You can read the full safety notice here –

Electrical Charger Fire In Bathroom Prompts Warning

We all know the dangers of using electrical equipment in a bathroom, even with something like a mobile phone charger.

Tip : Shaving sockets are for shavers, nothing else….

One fire crew from Torquay and one from Paignton were sent to the property in Edmonds Walk after a neighbour called the fire service to report an alarm sounding and a smell of burning.

On arrival, the crews found a small fire involving an electrical charger in a bathroom. They used two breathing apparatus, a thermal imaging camera and small tools to deal with the incident.

Story and image via –