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Builder prosecuted for unsafe electrical work

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 05/04/2013

The Original Bath Building Company’s proprietor, a general builder named Mr Peacock, had been contracted by a householder from Petty France, near Chipping Sodbury, to build a two storey extension to form a new living room and bedroom. South Gloucestershire magistrates found him guilty of breaching safety regulations and fined him £2,500 and awarded costs of £3,720. He was also ordered to pay the householder £800 in compensation.

Mr Peacock carried out electrical works at the property, but failed to get a competent person to check his work. This left the installation in a dangerous condition for the householder to use, which could have resulted in a serious or even fatal accident.

The householders Mr and Mrs Lewis relied on Mr Peacock and believed he was carrying out the building work properly. When Mr Peacock was asked for an electrical safety certificate it was not forthcoming and the householders consulted the council’s building control section. Mr and Mrs Lewis were advised that if Mr Peacock was unable or unwilling to provide the certificate they would have to employ a properly certificated electrician to check the work and carry out any remedial work which may be necessary.

On inspection of the work, the council’s building control and enforcement team found five items that were considered a danger, presented a risk of injury and required immediate remedial action, and seven items that were considered potentially dangerous and required urgent remedial action.

Mrs Lewis, the property’s owner, said: “Thank goodness we used the local authority for our building control rather than a private company. The local authority has been very supportive and we had absolute confidence that the right actions would be taken against this builder.”

Andy Clark, South Gloucestershire Council’s Building Control and Enforcement manager, said: “This is a great result for us; we are the only council in the country in three years to achieve a successful prosecution under electrical safety regulations contained with the building regulations. The building regulations are there to protect householders from cowboy builders, and this result sends a very clear message to contractors that local authority Building Control are here to protect the interests of householders.”

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