Both workers, who were employed at the time by Hayes Electrical and Building Services, had been dispatched to the ferry terminal at Liverpool’s Pier Head in order to replace a switchboard fuse, according to the reports of personal injury lawyers familiar with the incident. However, a flash fire erupted while the two electrical workers attempted to install a new fuse, causing serious burns on the faces of both of them despite the flash fire’s short duration.
Both electricians, who have had their names withheld from the media due to privacy concerns, both needed treatment at hospital in the wake of the incident. One of the electrical workers was injured severely enough to need three months off work.
The Government’s Health and Safety Executive began to investigate the accident, which revealed that the switchboard’s electricity supply had not been shut off prior to the two men beginning work on it. The life electricity running through the switchboard was the cause of the flash fire, the HSE found.
Waterloo, Sefton native and Hayes Electrical and Building Services owner, Terence Hayes, was brought before Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, where he admitted to breaching the Electricity at Work Regulations. Mr Hayes was given a fine of £8,000, with additional court costs of £4,766, for his role in his two workers’ injuries.
One HSE inspector, speaking in the wake of the court hearing, said that Mr Hayes had erred in allowing his employees to conduct work on a live terminal. The inspector said that the electricity could have been cut off in between ferry sailings in order to perform the necessary maintenance, which would have only minimally disrupted ferry services.