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EDITIONS
Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 17:47 GMT
Company fined over accident
Court graphic
Magistrates heard Mr Hankin was lucky to be alive
Flintshire magistrates have heard how a Deeside man saved his brother's life when he received two potentially fatal electric shocks.

Two hundred and forty volts passed through Christopher David Hankin's body after the frame of a machine he was working on became live.


He then sat bolt upright and started shaking, he was moving back and forward and then his hand came off the machine

Thomas Hankin

His brother Thomas, was working alongside him, and was able to pull him away from the machine by his boots.

Employers, Polimoon Limited from the Engineer Park in Sandycroft admitted failing to check and maintain the electrical system on the machine, a charge brought by the Health and Safety Executive

They were fined 4,500 and ordered to pay 2,300 costs.

Magistrates heard Mr Hankin had stopped breathing and was foaming at the mouth but his brother and other colleagues got him breathing again.

Dramatic Descriptions

Thomas Hankin explained: "He moaned and tried to move his backside under the discharge point of the machine to pull himself up.

"He then sat bolt upright and started shaking, he was moving back and forward and then his hand came off the machine.

"As he did this I ran around to him and saw his legs sticking out and twitching."

Magistrates heard dramatic descriptions of what happened when Mr Hankin received the shock in September of last year.


I was on my back on the chute and I could feel that I was bouncing around

Christopher Hankin

Prosecutor Mr Tudor Williams said that the victim told investigators he was sitting on a chute and talking to his brother when the incident happened.

"I bounced up and down on the chute," he explained.

A pipe he was holding came off the machine and the shock stopped, and he went to get away from the machine by climbing through a gap under a girder.

Mr Williams said: "That is where he aimed for to escape from the danger."

But when he grabbed the girder to pull himself underneath he received the second shock and he could not let go.

An Oversight

Mr Hankin from Connah's Quay said: "I was on my back on the chute and I could feel that I was bouncing around.

"After that it all goes blank until I was lifted off the floor."

Factory inspector Christine Wilson interviewed the company's general manager Peter Calland.

He said the accident had been avoidable, that the kit to test the equipment was at the factory, and it had been an oversight.

Magistrates' chairman Gordon Limb said that the evidence showed that standards fell short of those required.

"This was a machine which had not been subject to any testing whatsoever, to anyone's knowledge, since it was installed, certainly not for three years," he said.

Mr Limb added: "The risk was high and could have been fatal."

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