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OVERHEAD POWER LINE STRIKE BY HOMES BUILDER

Company’s own QS warned developer over lack of suitable precautions  

Hazelton Homes (Midlands) Ltd has been fined after a tipper lorry struck overhead power lines at Cottesmore in March 2012 causing a power cut to nearby homes. Leicester Magistrates heard (2 July) that the company of Rushton near Kettering failed to make sure that suitable warning signs for vehicles and ‘suspended protections’ were provided.

The court also heard that shortly before the incident the company quantity surveyor warned about the dangers of overhead power lines and the need for barriers and warning signs. Action was taken after the incident yet when HSE revisited the project in November 2012 suitable precautions were again absent.

Remedial steps taken but not maintained in place

Hazelton Homes (Midlands) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 34(2) (c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £8,000 with costs of £4,214.

CDM 2007 Regulation 34(2)(c) states: “Where there is a risk from electric power cables, suitable warning notices and (i) barriers suitable for excluding work equipment which is not needed, or (ii) where vehicles need to pass beneath the cables, suspended protections, or (iii) in either case, measures providing an equivalent level of safety, shall be provided or (in the case of measures) taken.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Linda-Jane Rigby said:

“This incident was entirely preventable and arose from a clear failure to assess and manage the risks associated with the presence of overhead power lines.

The need for goalposts and warning signs had been drawn to the attention of Hazleton Homes (Midlands) Ltd shortly before this incident but the directors failed to put the necessary measures in place. Once remedial steps were taken, the company failed to ensure they remained in place.

A number of people die every year when they accidentally make contact with electrical cables. It was only a matter of luck that no-one was seriously injured or killed in this incident.”

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One Response to “OVERHEAD POWER LINE STRIKE BY HOMES BUILDER”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 17th SEPT 2013 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] OVERHEAD POWER LINE STRIKE BY HOMES BUILDER […]