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CUTTING THROUGH LIVE CABLE FINED £900,000

Equipment removed without effective checks on electrical isolation

Green North East Trading Bidco Limited has been fined £900,000 after a sub-contractor suffered an electric shock whilst cutting through a live cable in March 2016

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how the injured person was removing an item of industrial equipment at the site on the understanding that the equipment was electrically isolated.

HSE investigators found the company (Impetus Waste Management T/A) failed to adequately plan and manage the work carried out by contractors who were removing some equipment.

The contractor started work to remove equipment having been told it was safe to do so. During the work the contractor cut though an electric cable to a fan which caused an electric shock and hospital treatment.

Failure to isolate not an isolated incident

The incident investigators found several pieces of equipment that had not been electrically isolated.

  • Green North East Trading Bidco Limited – of Cowpen Bewley, Billingham, Cleveland, were found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £900,000 with £5390 costs by South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Shuna Rank said

“This incident could so easily have been avoided if the work had been properly planned, the risks identified and steps taken to ensure that all equipment was electrically safe before the contractors started work at the site.

Fortunately, in this case, the injured person has made a full recovery, however the outcome could have been fatal.’’

 

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