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CLIENT FAILURE LEAVES GROUNDWORKER DISABLED

CDM client pays £100,000 after taking control of work

A workman sustained serious, life-changing injuries after a 415v electricity cable was struck during work to refurbish a pharmacy in central London.

The underground power cable was contacted whilst a trench was being excavated for a new sewage pipe. The 41 year old suffered burns to his body and throat. He now unable to work and is registered disabled.

Control without ability to manage construction work safely

Southwark Crown Court imposed (6 Nov) a fine of £60,000 on Medpharma Ltd and ordered the company to pay £40,000 in prosecution costs after being found guilty at an earlier trial to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stephron Baker Holmes said:

“This case follows a terrible incident that left a man seriously injured, with consequences that he is still living with two years later.

Where digging work is liable to disturb underground services it is vital to take suitable and sufficient steps to control the risks. Guidance on these steps is freely available online .

One of the client’s key mistakes in this case was to take on practical control of the work during the project without having the necessary understanding to be able to manage construction work safely.”

 

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