Tool donation seeks to boost apprentice safety

Super Rod has donated 40 safety tool kits to apprentices at Edinburgh College, as part of the company’s industry-recognised campaign with health and safety ambassador Louise Taggart to improve isolation standards in the electrical industry.

The donation holds a special importance to the safety campaign, as it was the college attended by Louise’s brother Michael Adamson – the electrician who died in a workplace incident in 2005, after coming into contact with mains voltage power. Michael would have celebrated his 40th birthday in March 2019.

On November 11, Louise shared Michael’s Story with the Edinburgh College course apprentices before helping Super Rod Managing Director, Malcolm Duncan, hand out the safety tool kits, which included a set of VDE rated insulated pliers from Klein Tools, a Megger Instruments voltage tester and a lock out kit from MCG.

The products chosen for the safety tool kit are of particular significance to Michael’s Story, as the findings of the HSE’s investigation into his death found that there was no lock out kit or voltage tester provided by Michael’s employer, and the way pliers were being used by electricians meant their insulation was inadequate – all factors that contributed to the tragic events that unfolded that day.

By giving apprentices these lifesaving tools from the very outset of their professional careers, Louise hopes that no other family will have to endure what her family has been through.

She comments, “My brother would still be alive today and celebrating his 40th birthday this year had safe working practices been followed on that job. While I can’t undo what happened that day for Michael, I can encourage apprentices to get into good habits and not accept anyone else compromising their safety – thanks to Super Rod, they now have the tools in their hands for safe isolation, and my sincere hope is this will be the generation who will no longer accept insulating tape as a means of isolation.”

Super Rod’s safe isolation campaign first launched in September 2018, with the results of a survey of the Electricians Community Forum on Facebook about the use of lock out kits and voltage testers. The shocking results put the issue of safe isolation practices firmly into the spotlight, but raising awareness wasn’t enough and Super Rod knew it needed to go one step further to make sure change would happen.

Over the summer of 2019, the Klein Tools/Megger Instruments/MCG tool bundles went on sale in 400 CEF branches across the UK and Ireland, for a discounted price where the lock out kit was essentially free.

Malcolm Duncan notes, “Michael’s Story was the reason we started the safe isolation campaign, so we felt it would be a fitting tribute to Michael on what should have been the year he turned 40, to donate 40 of these kits to Edinburgh College to inspire the next generation to work safer and smarter.”

Edinburgh College lecturer, Sean Mossman, adds, “Thanks to Louise and Super Rod for their generous donation of this safety equipment to our electrical apprentices. Every day we emphasise the importance of safe working practices to all of our students.

“Hearing Louise’s story of her late brother, an alumnus of our college, has resonated with us all and we will continue to ensure all of our students are equipped to work in a wide range of environments while being completely safe, and encourage them adhere to safe practices throughout their careers.”

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