Prosecution – Restaurant owner fined £60,000 after faulty electrics cause
From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.
A Croydon business owner and her company have been found guilty of four offences under health and safety law after a death by electrocution on their premises.
Sukran Sanli, who owns Adams Café Restaurant Limited,152 London Road, CR0 2TD, and her company were ordered to pay a total of £60,303 in fines and costs. Ms Sanli also received a 26-week suspended prison sentence and was ordered to undertake 200 unpaid work as a Community Penalty.
The prosecution arose when Croydon Council’s Food and Safety Team investigated the death by electrocution of Mustafa Ozbek on 21 January 2020, who was living in a room located at the rear of the café premises.
Sanli had paid for general electrical work to be carried out on the premises by an unqualified electrician in 2016 and again in 2019, four months before the fatal incident. Mr Ozbek’s electrocution occurred 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. This caused the metal pipework in the shower room to become live with a dangerous voltage which resulted in his death.
The council’s investigation centred on the responsibility for the safe provision of the electricity supply to the premises. The Food and Safety Team arranged for two HSE Specialist Inspectors to visit the premises and prepare a report regarding the electricity system. They also had a competent electrical contractor carry out a full inspection of the electrical installation.
The overall assessment was ‘unsatisfactory’ with a number of items being identified as ‘potentially dangerous.’
Sanli pleaded guilty to four charges, two against her and two against her company, relating to offences under Section 2 and 3 of 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 and competent 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.
This prosecution serves as an important reminder to businesses to ensure electrical work is only completed by competent electrical contractors and that electrical installations and portable equipment are tested at the appropriate frequencies.
At William Martin we have a nationwide team of experts who offer a comprehensive range of health and safety compliance services. As part of the Marlowe Software, Risk & Compliance division, William Martin also has access to a wider range of complementary services.
This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.
For all enquiries, please contact us or call our team on 0203 819 8829.