Firm fined over worker’s burns

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A construction firm has been fined after a worker suffered severe burns when his pneumatic drill hit a power cable.

The man, who has not been named, was working at a Walsall housing development in August 2009 when he struck an 11kv cable under the pavement while digging a trench.

The resulting surge left him with serious burns and he had to be airlifted to Birmingham's Selly Oak Hospital for emergency treatment.

His employer, Pacestone Construction Ltd, based in Solihull, was fined £13,000 after admitting a breach of Regulation 34(3) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the worker had been unaware of where the underground cables were located on the site.

Walsall Magistrates’ Court heard that the firm had failed to take sufficient steps to protect its employees from the risk presented by the cables.

HSE inspector David Price said: “This incident was entirely preventable had the company taken sensible precautions.

“Using a cable detector, marking the location of cables and only allowing workers to use hand tools when digging in the proximity of live services would have avoided the risk of hitting cables.”

According to the HSE, around 25 people die each year in workplace accidents involving electricity.

Pacestone Construction Ltd of Freda House, Oak Farm, Catherine De Barnes, was also ordered to pay £3,870 costs.

IBB Solicitors has built a reputation for quality of service in pursuing compensation in cases involving accident, illness or death. If you would like advice on personal injury issues, you can contact a member of IBB's Personal Injury team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.