Industry body calls for tighter regs after mum electrocuted

12:42pm Tuesday 1st April 2014

AN electricians’ trade association is calling for changes in Building Regulations following Emma Shaw’s tragic death.

The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers said the case highlighted longstanding concerns over “dangerous practices”.

It is urging a tightening up of the regulations to ensure full competency to avoid the risk of such tragedies being repeated.

Qualified supervisor Neil Hoult, of Dane Terrace, Rowley Regis, was found guilty at Wolverhampton Crown Court of breaching Health and Safety at Work regulations, which resulted in the 22-year-old mother being electrocuted in her West Browmich flat.

Electrician Christopher Tomkins, of Rowley Village, Rowley Regis, who had also denied the charge, was cleared by the jury.

The association’s chairman, Frank Bertie, said: “The NAPIT Trade Association has consistently opposed the industry model of focusing on a qualified supervisor, a model which runs too great a risk of work being completed by installers who may be neither properly trained nor genuinely monitored.

“The evidence heard during the trial and the guilty verdict that followed suggests Mr Tomkins was not properly trained and that was he was not genuinely monitored by Mr Hoult during what should have been a routine test.

“Lack of reasonable care by Hoult, in particular, ultimately brought about the untimely death of Emma Shaw.

“However, the requirements of the competence landscape at the time also played their part in the tragedy. If Tomkins had been required to be fully qualified or Hoult had not been permitted to sign off the work of his colleague without directly supervising it, things may have turned out differently.”

The association is calling on the Government to act on a select committee’s recommendation requiring all qualified supervisors to meet the standards and qualifications set out in the Conditions of Authorisation for Competent Person Schemes.

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