A Barking garage has been prosecuted for allowing workers to continue using unsafe electrical equipment for car repairs.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) banned M & K Autos Ltd from using a two-post vehicle hoist on 19 January 2011, until repairs were made on exposed live cables and terminals.

However, workers were not informed and continued to use the equipment, which put them at great danger of electrocution.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that when a HSE inspector revisited the site in April, the hoist was still in use and that no work had been done to correct the issues.

The company were subsequently fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the requirements of a prohibition notice served under Section 22 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

HSE Inspector Mohammed Tahir Mortuza, commented following the hearing:

“Live exposed terminals on the damaged vehicle hoist were just centimetres away from hand operated controls, and it is extremely fortunate that no one was injured or even killed.

“The risks associated with electricity are well known and documented, and when equipment is prohibited for use by HSE it is for a good reason. By failing to comply, M & K Autos put their mechanics at risk of electrocution. HSE will always take action when such breaches occur.”