Electrocution of 7-year-old boy at pub

Harvey Tyrell, 7, died after he touched a defective lighting fixture at the King Harold pub in Romford, Essex, on the 11th September 2018. 

The investigation found that the landlord of the King Harold, David Bearman, had often completed a range of electrical jobs at the pub, including the garden lighting. He would also use friends and family to complete the work. 

It was found that Harvey had say on a light and touched a railing causing an electric shock that proved to be fatal. 

During the investigation it was discovered that the pub last had is full health and safety checks completed in 2009, in which there were electrical defects listed, including issues with wiring, cabling and the fact that there was no current electrical test certificate for the premises. They also found an illegal unmetered electrical supply. 

Despite warnings on how dangerous the electrics were from previous inspectors, Mr Bearman failed to resolve any of the issues. The court was told that the metal casing of the light Harvey touched was live with electricity, and the entire distribution board serving the garden lights was not earthed. 

Mr Bearman was sentenced to nine years in prison for gross negligence manslaughter and abstracting electricity. 

Detective Sergeant Andy McAlister stated that ‘Bearman’s negligence and failure to ensure his venue was kept properly up to date with electrical checks has cost a young boy his life, something which could easily have been avoided.’

Employers have a legal duty to ensure that the electrical systems present in their buildings are maintained in a safe condition. Periodic fixed wiring inspections and testing are key part of this as well as undertaking any repairs needed and making any work is completed by qualified electricians and records are kept of the work. 

Ref: IOSH Magazine.