Lift company fined following Pentonville Prison death

Pentonville in Caledonian Road, Holloway

Pentonville in Caledonian Road, Holloway - Credit: Archant

A multi-national lift company has been fined £100,000 after one of its engineers was fatally electrocuted during routine maintenance work at Pentonville Prison.

Stephen Loake, 53, of Scholefield Road, Archway, died after he came into contact with a live cable and the metal structure of an elevator at the jail in Caledonian Road, Holloway.

Southwark Crown Court heard last week on the day of his death in October 2010, how Mr Loake went into the lift to reconnect a wire without turning off the power and was electrocuted.

While the lift needed to be powered while he investigated the fault, prosecutor Eleanor Sanderson said he should have turned it off before trying to reconnect the cable.

The firm admitted not providing engineers with proper guidelines on when they should work “live” and when power should be turned off.

James Ageros, for Thyssen Krupp, said: “The deficiency here was absence of detail in some important respects and not a case where the whole approach to electrical safety was wrong-handed or misconceived.”

Thyssen Krupp admitted not having safe systems of work and adequate supervision, and failing to carry out the necessary tests to ensure Mr Loake’s multi-meter, which measures voltage, was in good working order.

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It was fined a total of £100,000 for failing to update safety procedures after Judge Taylor said instructions given to engineers, which were seven years out of date, represented “a very significant breach” of health and safety guidelines.

The firm was also ordered to pay court costs of £25,748.