A Solihull construction firm has been fined after one of its workers was burnt when his drill hit a power cable. The worker, who has asked not to be named, suffered severe burns from the resulting flash and was airlifted to Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham for emergency treatment.
As a result, the company was fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £3,870 costs by Walsall Magistrates last month (November) after admitting it had not ensured the safety of its employees.
HSE provides guidance on avoiding dangers from underground services in booklet HSG47. They say there are about 1,000 accidents at work involving electricity cables each year and about 25 people die from their injuries. For more information about working safely with electricity go to their website: www.hse.gov.uk/electricity
Housebuilders Linden Ltd and one of their construction plant operators, Keith Payne, were fined a total of £14,500 with £25,000 costs last month as the result of an incident on a site in Banbury that left one man dead and two others severely injured.
The casualties were tilers Michael Whateley, his brother Robert, and Paul Keen, all from Northampton. They had been waiting in a car for the building site to be unlocked while Keith Payne was checking a telehandler. Mr Payne fully extended the unloaded boom of the telehandler in what he considered to be part of his routine daily checks. The truck tipped over and the forks smashed into the car the tilers were in.
Michael Whateley died from his injuries. Robert Whateley suffered fractures to his spine and a brain injury. Paul Keen suffered neck and spinal injuries, a broken ankle, broken ribs and a fractured breastbone.
HSE investigations showed operating instructions in the machine manual had not been observed by Keith Payne and Linden Ltd had failed to ensure the tyres were properly inflated.
Keith Payne was fined £7,000 and Linden were fined £7,500 with £25,000 costs.