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    OVERHEAD POWER LINE STRIKE PROSECUTION

    Principal contractor, scaffolding contractor and director all fined

    G. Wright Scaffolding Ltd and a director of the company have been ordered to pay almost £15k in fines and prosecution costs after a workman suffered burns to 52% of his body.

    Scaffolding dismantling was taking place and the injured man was removing a 6m guard rail at 4m above the ground when the tube came into contact with a high voltage overhead cable. His heart had to be restarted by paramedics.

    Manor Homes (Midlands) Ltd, the project Principal Contractor, from Worcestershire has also been ordered to pay almost £15k in fines and prosecution costs for their part in the incident.

    HSE inspector Tariq Khan said:“Mr Maxwell is very lucky to be alive. He was let down by a system of work that failed to take account of the danger posed by the live overhead cables.

    Work close to overhead cables should be avoided but where this is unavoidable then a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks needs to be carried out and a safe system of work devised with the assistance of the owners of the electricity cables.

    “Electricity can also arc or ‘flashover’ small distances, so direct contact with electricity cables is not always necessary to result in an incident. This case should act as a warning to all those who have to work close to live cables such as those in agriculture, construction and quarrying where scaffold poles, vehicles and cranes are operated.”

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