An Electrician, who pleaded guilty to exposing workers to risk by bypassing the residual current device in an electrical circuit, was given a two year suspended prison sentence at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday.

Earlier the court heard that the Electrician was called to a workplace to deal with the tripping out of a power washer. The court heard that he looped out the trip switch so that the electrical supply would not be interrupted. The HSA became aware of the offence, when an inspector was called to the workplace to investigate the death of a worker. The death was not caused by the bypassing of the trip switch, but the worker, who had been unwell and suffered a heart attack, was found dead with extensive burns having fallen on a compressor.

Imposing the two year suspended prison sentence, Judge Sean O’Donnabhain said “Looping out of a trip switch is a matter of grave concern given that it was done by an Electrician. It falls short of anything expected of an Electrician”. He said that “We, the public, know nothing about electricity and all hope that the trip switch will keep us safe”.

The Electrician, he added used his skill to loop around it. Judge O’Donnabhain suspended the sentence on condition that the man would not work as an Electrician for five years. Counsel for the Electrician told the court that the man deeply regretted the offence and not longer works as an Electrician.