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MAJOR CONTRACTOR FAILED ON POWER LINE RISK

Workman suffers severe burns after post touches 11kV overhead cable

BAM Construction Limited and Shoreland Projects Limited have been fined after a man suffered multiple life changing injuries including severe burns to his neck in January 2015.

Winchester Crown Court heard how BAM Construction Ltd were appointed by Network Rail to construct a new railway operating centre in Basingstoke and Shoreland Projects Ltd were engaged as groundworks contractor.

During work installing lampposts on the site entrance road a lamppost touched the 11kV overhead power lines as it was being lifted into position by an excavator.  A colleague rushed to the aid of Mark Bradley and used a piece of timber to push Mark away from the lamp column. The incident caused Mark Bradley to suffer serious injuries.

HSE investigators found a failure to properly identify the presence of the overhead power lines and appropriately plan this work activity.  No suitable control measures were in place to prevent contact with the overhead power lines.  A number of workers were put at risk, including Mr Bradley.

  • BAM Construction Limited – of Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company has been fined £260,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9415.13.
  • Shoreland Projects Limited – of Woodhouse Lane, Botley also pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, has been fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8442.53.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector William Christie said:

“While this entirely preventable incident has had a permanent and very substantial effect on Mark’s life, his very serious injuries could have been even worse had it not been for the quick thinking of his colleague.

This case highlights the importance for all work to be planned properly by all duty holders. Overhead power lines pose a significant threat to the safety of workers.  Construction work in the vicinity of live conductors must be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure the risks are controlled.”

 

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