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WORKMAN ‘SET ON FIRE’ AFTER CABLE STRIKE

Information on electric underground cables proved inadequate

Amey LG Limited has been fined £600,000 after a workman was seriously injured during an underground electric cable strike in May 2015.

Gloucester Crown Court heard that the 61-year-old man was working at the site on Eastgate Street replacing a traffic light pole when he came into contact with a live underground cable causing an electric shock which “set him on fire”. He received burns to his to hands, arms, stomach, face, legs and chest.

The workman was employed by another company and asked by Amey LG Ltd to carry out the work.

HSE investigators found that it was the first time this particular group of individuals worked on an Amey project. However, Amey did not provide adequate information on the location of underground services in the area.

The inquiry also revealed supervision of the work was inadequate and that risks from the underground services was not properly managed.

Reminder to LAs and contractors 

Amey LG Limited, of Edmund Halley Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 25 (4) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,498.

After the hearing HSE Principal Inspector Helena Tinton said:

“This man suffered life changing injuries as a result of this incident. He’s not been able to return to work, he still can’t use his hands properly and has been left both physically and mentally scarred by what happened.

Had Amey given adequate information to the team working on site, and had Amey ensured the work was properly planned and supervised, this incident could have been avoided.

This case should act as a reminder to local authorities and their contractors of the risks of working underground and the danger of severe electric shocks.”

 

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