“Save Our Sparks”

In 2023, ETT/ SparkSafe LtP teamed up with Super Rod to help raise awareness of the ‘Save Our Sparks’ Safe Isolation campaign.

The “Save Our Sparks” campaign was inspired by Michael’s Story.   Michael Adamson was a 26 year old experienced electrician who tragically died in a preventable electrical incident in 2005.  He cut a cable marked ‘NOT IN USE’, which was in fact wired into a distribution board and was not safely isolated. His employer’s method statement said: “Before working on electrical equipment, it should be isolated and secured by means of a padlock”.

However, the devices for lock-off/tag-off were not provided by Michael’s employer.  Instead, the practice on site was to use insulating tape. This fundamental safety procedure that electricians are taught was not being implemented by the electrical contracting industry.

His sister, Louise Adamson, began Michael’s Story as a way to engage with electrical workers and business owners about the risks of poor electrical safety.  By sharing Michael’s Story, Louise aims to reduce the number of people who die or are injured in preventable workplace incidents.

‘Save our Sparks’ NI Campaign

The ‘Save our Sparks’ NI Campaign followed on from 2 successful safety awareness campaigns ran jointly by CEF and Super Rod in 2018 and again in 2022.

We wanted to put the issue of safe isolation firmly in the spotlight with NI electricians and contractors.  So, in August 2023, electrical workers within the NI electrical industry were asked to complete a short survey designed to gain feedback about safe isolation practices and to get more electrical workers thinking about their health and safety at work.

Our ‘Save Our Sparks’ NI Commitment

Every electrician in our industry needs to hear Michael’s story and watch Louise’s presentation. The emotional impact of this story is profound, and emphasises the urgent need for improved electrical safety awareness in our industry.

With this in mind, we are taking our commitment to promote and improve safe isolation practices in the NI industry one step further.  We will –

  • Provide FREE safe isolation training for everyone who attended ETT’s Stay Connected 2023 NI Industry Event.
  • Deliver part funded safe isolation training in 2024 – we will give 50% off the cost of our ½ day workshop (Normally £125 per person – discounted to £62.50 throughout 2024).
  • Share Michael’s Story and the ‘Save Our Sparks’ NI survey findings at all of our Industry breakfast mornings, electrical safety awareness courses and safe isolation workshops.
  • Work with industry partners and campaign for funding to ensure NI electrical apprentices are provided with a free safe isolation kit as part of their 4-year apprenticeship programme.
  • Engage in regular, effective communication to ensure safe Isolation remains front of mind with all SparkSafe system users including clients, main contractors, electrical contractors and workers – we all have a part to play to ensure we improve safe working practices and to protect lives.
  • Share free advice, guidance and resources provided by industry stakeholders regarding safe isolation training, support and requirements.

We are also delighted to announce that we will be working with CEF, the UK’s largest electrical wholesaler to offer safe isolation kits to those who attend ETT’s Safe Isolation training at a discounted price, making it more affordable and helping electricians stay safe at work.

The cost of the Safe Isolation Kit would normally be £124.95 plus VAT but for anyone who attends the Safe Isolation course with ETT will get the kit for £79.95 + VAT – a massive saving of £45.

Each kit will come in its own canvas carry bag, sealed in a plastic bag for transport and will contain

  • 1 x Lockout Canvas Bag with Branded ETT Logo
  • 1x Voltage Tester
  • 1x Proving Unit
  • 1x Non-Conductive Safety Padlock with 1 key
  • 1x Non-Conductive Hasp
  • 1x CB06 – MCB LOCKOUT – Pin In
  • 1x CB05 – MCB LOCKOUT – Pin Out
  • 1x UCL1 – Universal Lockout
  • 1x DO NOT OPERATE – Reusable Lockout Tag
  • 1x Tie Wrap
  • 1x Felt Pen (Waterbased – non permanent)

Tommy Barrett, CEF NI Group Manager said “We in CEF take our role in the Electrical industry seriously … and this is a serious issue.  If we can help prevent one accident or another tragedy like Michael’s story by supporting this initiative then as an industry we are making progress, but to do so we must get as many Electricians as possible trained in using the kits. A lockout kit must become a part of every Electrician’s toolkit, including apprentices.”

Charlotte added  “Too many lives are still being lost each year.  As an industry, it is our collective responsibility to prevent Michael’s story from happening again.  We are committed to working with industry partners and stakeholders to prevent anyone else from having to lose a loved one in an accident that could and should have been prevented.  We will not stop sharing this message until such fatalities are a thing of the past.”

Safe Isolation Campaign (1)