Blog - Accidents at Work

Worker Burnt after Striking Electricity Cable whilst Fitting Fencing

A worker suffered serious burns after they accidentally struck an electricity cable whilst fitting fencing.

The 41 year old worker (who has not been named) was undertaking work at Northgate Vehicle Sales Ltd in November 2010. He was working on the refurbishment of the car park and was fitting fencing in the area.

Each base post of the fencing structure required a hole to be dug for it to go in. The man was using a groundbreaker tool to do this and had been told that there were no underground electricity cables to worry about.

However, the worker’s groundbreaker tool did in fact strike an underground cable, causing a fireball that vaporised the tip of the tool and burnt the worker’s arms and face.

The HSE found that Northgate Vehicle Sales Ltd had not passed on information relating to hazards such as underground cables to the contractor carrying out the work. This contravened construction regulations and a prosecution was brought as a result. A fine of £12,000 was issued against the company after they pleaded guilty at court yesterday.

The HSE reports that 7 people died and 88 were seriously injured by electricity in the workplace during just one year in the UK.

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