Fines have been handed down to two North East companies after workers were exposed to the danger of electrocution.
Egger (UK) Ltd and Northern Construction Solutions Ltd both admitted safety failings connected with the incident on 19 March 2013, in which the bucket of an excavator came into contact with a 20kV underground electric cable.
The two workers who were excavating an area in front of a newly-built electric substation for the installation of drainage luckily avoided injury. But the serious nature of what happened warranted an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Electric shock accident
An electric shock can cause serious injury. Even a small shock can be devastating to the nervous system.
A shock of around 50kV is enough to disrupt the electrical signals between the brain and muscles, stop the lungs from expanding and prevent the heart from beating.
If you have received an injury in an electric shock accident due to faulty equipment, a lack of training, or someone else’s negligence, then you may be entitled to seek personal injury compensation.
Accident Advice Helpline can tell you whether you have a case to make a claim and how much you could be entitled to.
HSE inspectors found that Egger had failed to update a services diagram that included the location of underground electric cables. Northern Construction Solutions was consequently not provided with up-to-date information regarding the location of the cables.
But the court also heard that Northern Construction Solutions had a duty to provide workers under their control with the information they needed. Instead, they accepted the out-of-date services diagram, even though they knew there had been changes made in the area that was to be excavated.
Egger (UK) Ltd, of Anick Grange Road, Hexham, Northumberland, was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £578.90, while Northern Construction Solutions Ltd, of 6 Lumley Court, Drum Road, Chester le Street, Co Durham, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £761.60 in costs.
Date Published: March 27, 2014
Author: David Brown