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    WORKMEN SUFFER SERIOUS BURNS FROM CABLE STRIKE

    Assessment and system of work failed to appreciate electrical risk

    A contractor has been fined after failing to protect workers from the risk of a cable strike explosion or electrocution whilst carrying out repairs at industrial premises in Coventry on 28th November 2018.

    Coventry Magistrates heard that the men received serious burns to their hands whilst using a drill to attach a pre-fabricated cowling to a cable tray.

    The incident occurred when one of the fixings penetrated a cable, striking one of the phases and causing an explosion.

    Danger from live cables not recognised

    HSE investigators found that the risk assessment and method statement did not consider the risk of drilling into cable trays containing live cables, isolating the electrics to complete work, or other methods of fixing which did not involve drilling.

    • Unique Envelope Façade Solutions Limited – of Winster Grove Industrial Estate, Great Barr, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company was fined £20,160 and ordered to pay costs of £1,178, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.

    Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Gareth Langston said:

    ”This incident demonstrated the importance of the role of those preparing the job. The company overlooked the 415V 3 phase cabling they were drilling in towards. A cable strike, even at this voltage, can cause a major explosion.

    This incident has left two men with long-lasting burn injuries and they are now unable to work for a long time.”

     

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