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    OVERHEAD CABLE STRIKE FIRM FINED £500,000+

    Inadequate system caused risk of harm despite lack of worker injury

    A construction company has been fined £1/2m after a tipper vehicle came into contact with overhead power lines during the construction of a waste transfer station on March 2016.

    Northampton Crown Court heard the vehicle driver was emptying soil from the vehicle at a site in Northampton. The company had identified the need for permanent protection structures (goalposts) but after an initial delay only one was installed.

    To empty the last of the load the driver drove the vehicle forward with the body raised. This resulted in the vehicle touching or coming came to 33KVoverhead power lines (OPL).

    The tipper vehicle suffered minor damage but the driver was unhurt.

    Very serious incident

    HSE investigators concluded that the company should have assessed the risks from OPL’s “more rigorously” and realised that the system of work was inadequate to reduce the risk of tipper vehicles striking an OPL.

    • Mick George Ltd – of Lancaster Way, Huntingdon, pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 25(3) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM). The company was fined £566,670 and ordered to pay costs of £9,000.

    HSE inspector Stuart Parry, speaking after the sentencing said:

    ”Every year in the UK, two people are killed and many more injured when mechanical plant and machinery comes into contact or close proximity to OPL’s. This was a very serious incident and it is fortunate nobody was injured as a result.

    A suitable and sufficient assessment would have identified the need to contact the Distribution Network Operator, Western Power, to request the OPL’s were diverted underground prior to the commencement of construction.

    If this was not reasonably practicable, Mick George Ltd should have erected goalposts either side of the OPL’s to warn drivers about the OPL’s.

    SOURCE: HSE GS6 – AVOIDING DANGER FROM OVERHEAD POWER LINES

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