Giving employees electrical stuff - dodgy?

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AdamJ
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Giving employees electrical stuff - dodgy?

Post by AdamJ » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:20 pm

I have a client who are given donated clothing (which is their business) but it sometimes includes portable electrical appliances which they don't want so either pass them on to another company or sometimes if employees or volunteers like them they let them have them for free. They don't do PAT on anything, hence they pass it on, and the question of their liability should an employee plug something in they have obtained from the company and be electrocuted or suchlike has arisen.

My thought is that they could be liable as even though they as a company did not request or pay for the item, they are still supplying it to the employee or volunteer therefore could fall into the duty to make sure it is safe, etc.

As this will be a bone of contention with the employees I just thought I'd get another opinion - am I on the right track on this one or have i barked up completely the wrong tree?

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colinaugust57
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Re: Giving employees electrical stuff - dodgy?

Post by colinaugust57 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:35 pm

Hi Adam :wave:

Have a shufti at this http://www.brent.gov.uk/home.nsf/news/LBB-1160" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is a council assisting in the swapping of unwanted electrical items - the words "all items tested" crops up

Having re read your post, I am guessing that your client is a charity shop, so I would look at the following

http://www.charitybags.org.uk/charity_shops.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you go to the section marked Electrical, there is refence to "Legislation"

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Re: Giving employees electrical stuff - dodgy?

Post by Reddwarf » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:57 am

would it not be possible to collect all the electrical items up and have someone PAT test them once a month that way the items could be sold in the charity shops and any staff just have to make a donation which would cover the cost of the PAT testing.

I believe prices can vary from 50p-£2 for PAT testing if you have all the items lined up for the sparky and given you are a charity and they get their stickers on the items they might be willing to do a special price,

Red

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Re: Giving employees electrical stuff - dodgy?

Post by AdamJ » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:19 am

Thanks Both.

Ta for the links Colin.

Red: I've tried to get them to send one of their in-house people from their central sorting warehouse on a C&G day course so they can do the PAT in-house but they've never got round do it and are reluctant to use an outside person. Basically they see themselves as a clothing retailer only but people still put electrical stuff in the collection units (and indeed the odd dead cat, soiled duvets and other loveliness).

My guess is that by passing it on to the staff untested there may be some liability but I shall continue to investigate.

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Re: Giving employees electrical stuff - dodgy?

Post by acko 338 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:35 pm

I'm big on looking at solid practicalities rather than quoting law etc - so here's my imaginary scenario....

Charity firm (still a business whether charity or not) accepts (immediate duty of care in place) potentially faulty electrical item eg metal desk lamp..... with faulty earth lead or live wrongly wired by amateur.

Firm passes on goods to volunteer who cannot afford lamp for student son / daughter...... takes lamp to bedroom, switches on, touches lamp stem and is electrocuted.....who is to blame..???????..... company, mother / father bringing lamp home....donor.....the system.... lack of test facility?????????......doesn't matter... bottom line is someone would be dead.... don't take any chances.... don't allow ANY untested goods go out to volunteers..... then there will never be any chance of blame!

That's my take on it, anyway !
http://atkinsonsafetyservices.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also sole director of Black & White (UK) Ltd - looking for more training and consultancy work.

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