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  Posted by: electime      6th June 2019

Super Rod and CEF have teamed up to launch a brand new national safety awareness campaign to get more installers thinking about their health and safety at work.

The Save Our Sparks campaign has been inspired by Michael’s Story. Michael Adamson was just 26 when he died after coming into contact with mains voltage power in an incident at work in August 2005. He was an experienced electrician but there were a number of health and safety failings on the site where he was working – including the failure to implement safe isolation procedures and a failure to provide lock off devices and testing equipment – which would eventually lead to his tragic death.

Last year, Super Rod worked with Michael’s sister Louise Taggart on a campaign to raise awareness of the need for safer working practices in the electrical industry after a survey of more than 800 members of the Electricians Community Forum on Facebook revealed that a quarter of electricians rarely or never used a lock out kit to isolate the electrical supply they were working on, and 1 in 5 didn’t even carry one in their van or tool bag.

The survey also asked about attitudes towards using a voltage tester to prove dead before starting work. One in 10 installers said they didn’t use one, and a third of respondents (33%) thought they were experienced enough not to make a mistake, so didn’t need to check with a voltage tester.

Super Rod Managing Director Malcolm Duncan said: “Our research campaign put the issue of safe isolation practices firmly into the spotlight, but we knew we needed to follow it up with something that would encourage installers to take action and ensure they are always operating in a safe working environment. So we approached CEF with an idea and worked with them to develop the Save Our Sparks campaign, which will give installers access to the tools they need to work safely – day in, day out.”

More than 400 CEF branches across the UK and Ireland will be supporting the week-long Save Our Sparks campaign this June. As part of the event, electricians will be able to buy a special discounted bundle of products – a lock out kit, a voltage tester and a set of VDE rated insulated pliers – which are of particular significance to Michael’s Story.

The findings of the HSE’s investigation into Michael’s death found that there was no lock out kit used, no voltage tester used and that the electricians had inadequate pliers in terms of leverage and insulation. By encouraging installers to buy these lifesaving tools through the Save Our Sparks campaign, Louise hopes that no other family will have to endure what her family has been through.

Louise said: “My brother would still be alive today and celebrating his 40th birthday this year had safe working practices been followed on that job but he was set to work in an unsafe environment. I would urge installers to get smart about their safety – if not for themselves, then for their family and friends.”

During the Save Our Sparks campaign, the special pack of tools will be available for just £89.95 plus VAT, making the lock out kit free as part of the bundle. A number of kits will also be donated to the college in Edinburgh where Michael was trained, to ensure the next generation of electricians are well equipped for the future.

Chris Ashworth, Director of Operations, from CEF said: “Installer safety is of paramount important to us as a wholesaler, whether that’s ensuring electricians have all the PPE they need for work or the safest, high quality tools to use on the job. With the Save Our Sparks campaign we are taking that commitment to our customers one step further by offering potentially lifesaving equipment at a discounted price to make it more affordable, alongside a poignant reminder about why safe isolation is so important. Hopefully this encourages more people to work safer, and ensure Michael’s Story doesn’t happen again.”