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Shopkeepers beware

Electrical inspections, so many shopkeepers are cutting corners and not getting this done or using cheap incompetent contractors to try and save money, they then, in effect, nullify their insurance and nobody is now covered.

In these recession-hit times, the easiest thing to cut corners on is safety, there is a legal requirement to ensure the safety of your employees and the safety of the public, who use your premises, and electrical inspection is only part of the requirements, along with PAT/EET, Fire and a Legionella’s Etc

Most large organisations already have in place the necessary structures to ensure compliance with Health and safety, the Electricity at Works Act and building regulations.

However, sadly the excuse used by a small trader of not knowing he had to, did not wash with the Judge, in a recent case, and to quote the English law maxim ( ignorance of the law is no excuse) end quote.

A member of the public came into his shop and got a shock from a piece of equipment within the premises, and reported it to the local council after the shopkeeper denied there was anything wrong.

Upon investigation by the council, they found that the main earth in the premises was not connected and that the supplemental earthing and one of the main earths were also not properly connected.

Furthermore, upon requesting a copy of his current periodic test certificate for the fixed wiring within the premises the shopkeeper said he did not have to have one there was no law that could make him do it.

They then asked for a copy of his PAT/EET testing certification for all of the appliances within the property, to which he replied that he did not have any certificate and had never heard of it.

Their answer was to issue an order to, tell him to get it rectified and another order to shut the shop until the owner had done so, and rectify any faults already identified and any that may come to light during the inspection.

He refused to do so and promptly re-opened the shop a few days later without the work being carried out.

A closure notice was issued, and the shop had to re-shut, the owner went shopping around to get the cheapest price for a test cert, only to get somebody with no real experience or knowledge of this type of system. (again, trying to cut corners)

Consequently, the information supplied was sub-standard and the owner tried to get away with it, to no avail, the judge passed a 2-year suspended sentence on the owner with a fine over £40,000.00 plus costs, (total bill for ignoring and trying to take the cheap way out was more than £55,000.00.

The owner had to sell the shop and is also banned from running a shop of this type again, this coupled with a suspended sentence, and the loss of his living for trying to save a few pounds, beggars belief, together with his total disregard for life.

The fact that he would endanger his employees, and the public to save the difference between a proper test and a cheap test is unconscionable.

The true cost of testing by a company that is not interested in getting the remedial works is between £15.00 and £25.00 per circuit depending on floor space, and also what information you already have to hand, he found somebody silly enough to do it for £4.00 per circuit, (but it was cheap).

There is always an idiot out there, who will price cheaply, but you are now required by LAW to execute your Due diligence to ensure the person you are appointing is capable of executing the works safely and thinking a Scheme membership is good enough is not enough.

You need to ensure they are competent hold the correct inspection and testing paperwork and have at least 5 years of experience in Domestic testing for homes, and a minimum of 10 years of experience in commercial inspection and testing before allowing them onto your premises.

This contractor has now been closed down as well and fined more than £30,000.00.

He spent more on servicing his car twice a year than protecting the lives of his employees or the public.

You are legally obliged to carry out a periodic test of your electrical fixed wiring at a maximum time of five years between tests “This is the law”

Don’t be foolish and put people’s lives at risk, call us today, and get the job done properly and safely, cutting corners is not an option, this man ruined his life to save a few pounds, safety is not an afterthought it is a necessity.

You are not insured without a proper certificate the insurance companies will not pay out to cover you if you do not in the eyes of the law act professionally.

For further information go to our website: – www. safe-electric.com or contact us by e-mail [email protected]