Overhead power cables severely injure worker
Two companies have been fined following an accident resulting in life-changing injuries for a worker.
Winchester Crown Court was told that Network Rail had appointed BAM Construction Ltd to build a new railway operating centre. At a later date, BAM Construction Ltd appointed Shoreland Projects Ltd to carry out the work in Basingstoke, Hampshire as the groundworks contractor.
Work commenced in January 2015, to install lampposts at the road of the site entrance. As the fifth lamppost was being erected by the excavator, it struck an 11kv overhead power cable, causing worker Mark Bradley to suffer severe burns to his neck. Bradley was helped by the quick thinking of a colleague, who pushed him away from the lamp with a piece of timber.
During an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that the presence of the power lines had not been properly identified, and adequate planning had not taken place for the work activity. No suitable measures were in place to prevent contact with the power cables, which may have included the use of PPE or specialist workwear as a basic requirement. Workers were put at risk, including Bradley.
BAM Construction Ltd was fined £260,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,415.13, while Shoreland Projects Ltd was fined £22,000 and also paid costs of £8,442.53. According to William Christie, the HSE inspector, although severe injuries had been sustained during the accident, the incident could have been far worse had swift action had not been taken by Bradley's colleague.