Company sentenced after employee received electric shock

Berneslai Homes Ltd has been fined following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into safety standards during maintenance work of council owned domestic properties.

Barnsley Magistrates Court heard that HSE investigated following an incident involving a Berneslai Homes Ltd joiner who received an electric shock while replacing a wooden garden fence around a domestic property in Barnsley on 26 November 2013.

The injured person struck an underground electric cable with a metal spade while excavating a post hole and received an electric shock. The shock did not cause any lasting injury to the joiner, though the court was told that such incidents do pose a risk of fatal injury.

The court was told that Berneslai Homes Ltd is responsible for managing 18,800 homes on behalf of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

The court found that the Company had failed to ensure the safety of their employee, in that work carried out near an electrical system was not planned in order to minimise the risk of a cable strike.

At a the hearing on Friday 18 September 2015 Berneslai Homes Ltd which is based at Gateway Plaza, Barnsley, was fined £7,500 with £8,562 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, regulation 4(3).

Further information on safety at work can be found online at

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: 
  3. HSE news releases are available at

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