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    HIGHWAYS WORKMAN PROSECUTED OVER CHILD INJURY

    Employer not ‘blamed’ by HSE as workman provided with proper training

    Street lighting operative Joseph Parker, aged 25, employed by Volker Highways Ltd has been ordered to pay over £5,000 in fines and prosecution costs after failing to erect temporary barriers around the lamp where he was working.

    A toddler was injured when part of a streetlight fell as she was passing underneath. The child was in a pram being pushed along a London street when the reflector from a streetlight struck her on the head causing a wound requiring stitches.

    Mr Parker was instructed to investigate a faulty street lamp on Gillett Square in Hackney on 20 January 2010. When he detached the reflector at the top of the lamp post it fell toward the mother and daughter below. 

    Pedestrians should have been segregated from the work

    Temporary barriers should have been used to segregate pedestrians from the work area around the lamp before Mr Parker dismantled the reflector. Joseph Parker pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £2,250.00 and ordered to pay costs of £2,888.00

    HSE Inspector, Zameer Bhunnoo said:

    “This was a serious incident that needlessly injured a small child and caused her mother understandable distress. No blame can be attached to Volker Highways as Mr Parker had been properly trained by his employer to carry out this kind of work safely.

    Individual employees must realise that they face criminal prosecution by the HSE if they show a reckless disregard for health and safety, putting others at serious risk.”

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