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B&M HIT WITH £1M FINE OVER ARC FLASH INJURY

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

In the IOSH magazine article published online on Tuesday 26th July 2022 we are reminded of the utmost seriousness and importance of proper prediction, prevention, protection and publication when it comes to on site health and safety.


  • The article highlights a case involving B&M Retail Ltd, a budget retailer, which received a £1 million fine for violating health and safety regulations. This penalty stemmed from an incident in 2018, where an electrician suffered severe injuries due to an arc flash while working at B&M's Liverpool warehouse.

  • It provides details about the event, explaining that the electrician was injured while attempting to fix an electrical fault. This occurred when they accidentally came into contact with a live busbar with a metal spanner connected to the power distribution system.

  • The incident had life-changing consequences on the victim and his family. 'To me, my arms look like Freddy Kruger’s from Nightmare on Elm Street,' he said. 'I now can’t play with my little boys as much as I used to and I’m worried about hurting myself, and they are worried about hurting me. I have paranoia of being touched. I do worry about the future as I know the pain will never go away and might get worse, leaving me unable to work and support my family.'

  • The article delves into the investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), revealing that B&M was found at fault for not appointing a suitably qualified individual to oversee and coordinate the work, which involved multiple contractors and temporary generators.

  • The HSE inspector is quoted emphasising that B&M's failure to adequately address the risks associated with arc flash put workers in unnecessary danger, resulting in a serious injury. The inspector further underscores the responsibility of employers to ensure that electrical work is carried out safely by competent professionals.



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