Contractor fined after worker injured in cable strike

Construction ContratorsA Helensburgh-based contracting company has been fined after a worker hit an underground cable and suffered burns to his hands and face whilst working on a primary school refurbishment project.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that on the 1 September 2011 the incident took place at a construction site at Heatheryknowe Primary School in East Kilbride. A worker for Stewart and Shields Limited was digging holes to erect a fence when he struck a 430v underground electric services cable causing minor flash burns to his hands and face.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and found that site reports containing information about ‘buried services’ were made available to the company but they had failed to provide this information to workers or clearly mark where the power lines were situated underground. They should also have also ensured that workers using digging devices were adequately trained.

Stewart and Shields Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 34(3) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £7,500.

HSE Inspector Graeme McMinn said: “There is an obligation on contractors to ensure that workers are informed of the dangers from buried underground services, and the need to ensure those services are located, checked and clearly marked.