A quick-thinking colleague helped prevent a man’s serious injuries from being even worse, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigator claims.
Two construction firms have now been fined after a worker suffered life-changing injuries following an electrocution, including severe neck burns.
Working near overhead lines
BAM Construction Ltd was the main contractor on the Network Rail project to build a new railway operating centre in Basingstoke, Winchester Crown Court heard. BAM then appointed Shoreland Projects Ltd as the groundworks contractor.
During the installation of new lampposts, one of the posts touched the 11kV overhead power lines when it was being lifted into position by an excavator. This caused Mark Bradley to suffer his injuries.
He was prevented from more serious injuries – and possibly even death – by the quick thinking of a colleague, who used a piece of timber to push Mark away from the lamp column.
The HSE investigation found that the companies had failed to identify the presence of the overhead power lines and plan the work activity to take this into account. There were also no suitable control measures in place to prevent contact with the overhead power lines.
BAM Construction Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company has been fined £260,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,415.13.
Shoreland Projects Limited also pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, has been fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,442.53.
HSE Inspector William Christie said: “While this entirely preventable incident has had a permanent and very substantial effect on Mark’s life, his very serious injuries could have been even worse had it not been for the quick thinking of his colleague.
“This case highlights the importance for all work to be planned properly by all duty holders.
“Overhead power lines pose a significant threat to the safety of workers. Construction work in the vicinity of live conductors must be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure the risks are controlled.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: April 17, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown