Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Engineer refused to install new electricity meter because he wasn't trained to climb step ladders

An engineer refused to install an electricity meter at a couple's home in Saltburn, Cleveland, after telling them he was not trained to climb step ladders. Householder John Stearn couldn't believe it when the worker from Utility Warehouse came to change his electricity meter only to abandon the job because he was not allowed to climb the ladders.

He said he was not trained in the use of ladders and would have to call in specialist colleagues who had gone though a health and safety course. John said he downed tools and left without lowering the meter. He said: “You don’t need a training course to be able to use a pair of ladders. You have to laugh at what seems another silly health and safety rule.” John had asked his supplier to change both his gas and electricity meters to a pre-payment scheme after running up high debts.

The gas meter was changed without any delay because it was at ground level but the electricity meter was placed on the wall above head height. Jon Goddard, head of distributor marketing at the Utility Warehouse, admitted there had been a health and safety issue over the job at John’s home. He said: “The customer then asked us to install pre-payment meters, and to add the outstanding balance on to them.

“We were able to install a gas pre-payment meter, but the installation of the electricity pre-payment meter has been delayed because the engineer we sent to do this work was unable to climb a ladder to exchange the meter due to health and safety reasons. This has now been referred to our specialist metering team, for them to lower the current meter and install a pre-payment meter. With co-operation from the customer, this work should be completed shortly.” The 'highly specialised' work was later completed.

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