Grundfos Pumps fined after teenage trainee engineer lost his life

hse_thumbGrundfos Pumps has pleaded guilty to safety failings after a trainee design engineer lost his life.

On March 30, 2009, 19-year-old trainee design engineer, Jake Herring, came into contact with a live three phase electrical system and died from his injuries. Jake was carrying our electrical testing work at the Grundfos Pumps factory in Windsor and was working unsupervised while testing a live electrical control panel.

The company appeared at Reading Crown Court on May 11, 2015, and was fined £300,000, with total costs of £115,000 after pleading guilty to breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 3, (1) (a), and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 Reg 3, (1)(a), contrary to Regulation 14.

An unsafe system of work was found to be the cause of Jake’s death.  Grundfos Pumps had not adequately risk assessed the testing of live electrical panels to identify a safe system of work and failed to provide suitable training and supervision to undertake three phase live testing.

Inspector for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Paul Williams, said: “This tragic incident could and should have been avoided.  Grundfos Pumps’s failure to adequately risk assess the electrical testing process led to an unsafe system being in place. Training and supervision arrangements were clearly inadequate.

If live electrical testing has to be undertaken, suitable precautions must be in place.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Grundfos Pumps said: “This sad and difficult situation was met with tremendous disbelief by all concerned and Grundfos has fully co-operated with the HSE throughout the investigation process that has now been concluded.

“The company pleaded guilty to two charges brought against it by the HSE and accept the penalty imposed by the court and note that, in passing sentence, the company’s overall good record in terms of health and safety and its prompt remedial measures were recognised by the judge.

“As a company, we remain deeply saddened by Jake’s death. He was a valued and well-liked employee who showed much promise. We continue to extend our condolences to his family and friends who remain in our thoughts.”

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