Modding and legal issues?

Ed.D

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Hi everyone,

I was just wondering if anyone has knowledge about the legal situation where an accident occurs e.g. damage to other components, electric shock or fire, following a modification by non-qualified or non-insured person(s) to a computer system, either to an internal part or the enclosure (case).

Cheers,
Ed.
 

AmiNeo

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Not a lot of knowledge on the topic however most companies will have you sign something when checking a job in with them which would waive all liability.

might I ask why you're asking?
 

Ed.D

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Hi Amineo,

Nothing happened :). I'm just curious about mods that people do for others and if something went wrong after installation.

I have been asked if I might make a new panel for an enclosure for somebody, but having no public liability insurance and no way to Hipot test I have taken the cautious route and declined.
 

AmiNeo

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Ah, well if theyre a friend then I'd just explain that there are things that can go wrong and if they still want you to try then its their risk.

If not have them sign and print something that explains that you're not qualified and that by having you attempt this job theyre waiving all liability in the event anything goes wrong.

If they refuse then atleast you offered.


That public liability insurance isnt bad. I looked into it recently and got quoted £200 P.A. for up to a million pounds worth of damages :LOL:

---------- Post added at 14:18 ---------- Previous post was at 14:11 ----------

Personally if they tried to pull anything legally, I'd just do a Fat Tony and say "Whats an enclosure?" :LOL:

They gave it to you willingly afterall and you're not a business. I don't think theyd have a leg to stand on.
 

Ed.D

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Ok, cheers for that Amineo.

I had to google "Fat Tony". I need to stay in and watch more Simpsons! :)
 

AmiNeo

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Hehe, yea should have explained that a bit more, sorry.
 

Merlin

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Hi everyone,

I was just wondering if anyone has knowledge about the legal situation where an accident occurs e.g. damage to other components, electric shock or fire, following a modification by non-qualified or non-insured person(s) to a computer system, either to an internal part or the enclosure (case).

Cheers,
Ed.

This is my line of work, so get comfy and read.....

This could get very ugly and into deep doo-doo via The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations ( PUWER 1998 ) and The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Basically, any electrical equipment must be tested as safe (PAT tested) and should not be modified or repaired by persons not deemed competent (i.e. a qualified electrician or repair technician).

If the repair or modification is not using exactly the same approved parts as originally fitted by the manufacturer, you are leaving yourself wide open to be bent over and sh****d with a big stick. That's apart from having the HSE all over you like a rash if things go South, as this could be a RIDDOR reportable incident, as electrocution tends to bring about death in large amounts.

I think that covers it. Any questions, please shout up.

LOL @ AmiNeo - I know where you got that from......;)
 

Ed.D

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Ah rightio, thanks Merlin. :bowdown:

I was actually a qualified Electrician for 10 years before joining HP. Part of my job then was to do PAT testing (was never so bored in my life!).

...however that was the 15th edition regs so although I consider myself still competent, I wouldn't say I was now qualified and err on the side of caution.

btw, when they brought out the 17th edition regs I think they switched from a stick to the rough end of a pineapple. :wooha:

Cheers for now.
 

Zetr0

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@Ed.D

Insofar as "The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations ( PUWER 1998 )"and "The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989" they have absolutely no application to the sale or resale of electrical equipment in the consumer market.

What you describe is either a private sale or a second user sale - in either case it is "buyer beware" - as far as a law is concerned - however if the electrical device you sell / modify on the behest of is "not fit for purpose" then you could open yourself upto the possibility of litigation.

Although the exact same could be said if you sold a car with dodgy breaks and an accident occurs.


Take some time to read the Sales of Goods Act 2002 - however this mainly applies to the sale of NEW items within the United Kingdom, but there are some provisions in the act ( *more detail here* Sales of goods act 1979)for second user and private sale agreements.


I will say that it is wise when dealing with electrical components on behalf of others to atleast hold a PATS certificate - their quite cheap to pick up these days (around the £45 mark) which can be done in a day's work shop - this is for 17th edition regs as well.

since my Cert past a while back - I have been looking into picking one of these up as well.

If you need help finding a place local to do the days workshop - gimmie a shout I have a lot of data I researched a while back for this.
 

Merlin

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@ Zetr0

Ed didn't state if this was in a work related situation or not, so I thought it best to state the position if this was a machine in work/industrial environment.

Obviously, the HASAWA 1974, PUWER 1998 and EAW 1989 Regs don't apply at home, but that doesn't set aside the personal liability attached to the fitting of the components. The Sale of Goods Act covers merchantable quality and fitness for purpose, but it doesn't cover how they are fitted and most instructions with PSUs state that they should be fitted by 'a competent person' - Ed is a former 'sparks', so I would consider him competent.

A PAT test is always a good thing after changing power supplies and associated components...(y)
 

Zetr0

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@merlin

point taken - had the device (i.e. a sewing maching or solder station) been bought for the provision of a work place then it would certinaly fall under the PUWER 1998 regulations as you stated.
 

Ed.D

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Thanks guys, I understand what you're saying. What prompted my question was really just curiosity regarding a request from a chap (from AmiBay) ...could I make him a rear panel for his A1200 tower and how much would I charge? But, as money could have changed hands, I've advised him that i'd rather not do it based on the safety and liability aspect. Modding is not something I normally do to computers anyway. I think the request may have followed the post I submitted about the panel I'm making for the Commodore gaming case I bought here, for my A1200.

https://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=8990&page=7

I suppose I shouldn't really be modding a case for my own use for that matter, unless it is PAT/HiPOT tested and adorned with a sticker.
 

Zetr0

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@Ed.D

Personally insofar as a chassis is concerned as long as it meets fire standards that should be about it.

Aluminium Alloy or steel isn't known for its bursting into flames properties - I think in the aspect of chassis this is a little over the top for the need of any certification or even acreditation.

As long as its safely constructed from reasonable "fit for purpose" material then I cannot see any possible issue.
 

AmiNeo

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Make sure there's no sharp edges and your good I think is Zetr0s point here. I'd be inclined to agree.
 
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