A Birmingham property company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), after two employees were engulfed in a fireball, after cutting through a live underground electric cable.
Fifty three year old Eamonn Osborne and his colleague forty six year old David Rawlins, were both employed by property company RVB Investments UK Ltd and had been instructed to search for a water leak at an industrial property in Telford.
Telford Magistrates Court was told that the pair had been told to dig down with an electric drill at a location just outside the property by their manager Clifford Leigh but as they did so they cut through a 1,000 volt electric cable.
This resulted in a massive fireball which engulfed both men, causing serious burn injuries to their hands, arms, heads and upper body. The two workers were airlifted to hospital for emergency treatment to their wounds, following the accident at work.
An investigation by the HSE revealed that RVB Investments had not carried out an adequate risk assessment and had not checked for the presence of underground cables.
The company was fined £10,000 after admitting safety breaches and was ordered to pay a total of £4,420 on court costs.
Manager Clifford Leigh also pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined £2,000 with £1,000 in costs.