Construction company failed to inform employees of dangerous underground cables…
A construction company based in Redhill has had to pay a total of £210,000 in fines and costs after an employee was killed in an explosion at a construction site in London.
The 22-year-old employee from north-west London died after an 11,000 volt live cable was damaged during an excavation. The victim suffered burns to more than 60% of his body as he and his colleagues worked on the excavation at the corner of Charing Cross Road on 2 December 2008. He was treated for his injuries at hospital but on Christmas Day 2008 the injuries he sustained proved to be fatal.
Southwark Crown Court was told that the construction company had failed to inform their employees that there were live cables in the excavation area. The company also failed to ensure the necessary protection measures associated with electrical safety were put in place at the site.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. A fine of £167,000 was imposed and the company was also ordered to pay £43,000 in costs as a result of the case brought by the HSE.
HSE inspector Lisa Chappell spoke after the hearing:
“The dangers associated with live underground cables are well-known to those carrying out groundworks in the construction industry. Clear guidance on avoiding contact with them is freely available to companies undertaking this work.
“This incident highlights the absolute necessity for such work to be properly planned and managed. Operatives should be briefed on the presence of cables and a safe system of working should be robustly enforced. The victim’s family continues to grieve the loss of a son and brother following an incident that could have easily been prevented.”
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