Catering engineer dies fixing school oven

A catering engineer working for Blackburn-based catering equipment firm Acme has tragically died after being electrocuted while repairing an oven.

Jason Haslem, 24, reportedly suffered a massive electric shock while working on the appliance at a primary school in Oldham.

Police officers and paramedics were called to the scene at 4.45pm last Thursday and tried to revive him, but he failed to regain consciousness.

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The Health and Safety Executive this morning told Catering Insight that an inquiry into the tragedy at Fir Bank Primary School was underway.

Mr Haslem, a married father of two young children, is understood to have been checking over cooking equipment at the school following a refurbishment of its kitchen ahead of the new term.

A spokesman for the HSE’s North West office said it was currently looking to establish the exact circumstances that led to Mr Haslem’s death.

“A joint investigation with Greater Manchester Police into the incident is taking place and inspectors have visited the site,” the spokesman told Catering Insight.

He said it was not possible to say how long the investigation would take, but that the HSE would seek to establish whether there were any grounds for a prosecution to take place.

Acme today released a statement, which read: “It is with enormous sadness that we confirm the death of one of our employees, Jason Haslem. This is clearly a tragic incident for everyone at ACME Facilities Group Limited and for everyone who knew Jason but, above all, our thoughts and profound condolences are with Jason’s wife and family.

“Our priority now is to support them, and Jason’s colleagues, at what is an extremely difficult time.

“It is very important that the circumstances surrounding the incident are thoroughly investigated and we will of course continue to provide all necessary assistance to the authorities involved in that process. It would be wrong to say anything else whilst that investigation takes place.”

Acme has been providing commercial catering equipment services for more than 50 years, initially as a family business and then as a subsidiary of Pentland Group, which owns the company.

It has just completed a rebranding exercise that will see it known as the Acme Facilities Group Limited from now on.

The move is designed to reflect the expansion of its activities beyond its traditional markets of refrigeration, catering and air conditioning.

It now operates an in-house fabrication workshop and recently completed the acquisition of a heating, plumbing and ventilation company.

Previously the company’s name was H&H Refrigeration Limited T/a Acme Refrigeration.

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