Two companies have been fined a total of £282,000 after a Basingstoke worker suffered multiple life changing injuries including severe burns after an huge electric shock, writes Matthew Brown.
BAM Construction were fined £260,000 and Shoreland Projects £22,000 at Winchester Crown Court last week.
The incident took place on January 26, 2015 when contract worker Mark Bradley was helping to install lampposts on the site entrance road at the construction site of Network Rail’s railway operating centre in Gresley Road
Mr Bradley, from Gosport, received serious injures when a lamppost touched the 11kv overhead power lines as it was being lifted into position by a digger.
One of his colleagues rushed to help, bravely using a piece of timber to push the 52-year-old away from the lamppost.
According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector William Christie speaking after the case, “his very serious injuries could have been worse had it not been for the quick thinking of his colleague”.
The father-of-four suffered multiple life changing injuries including severe burns to his face, neck and arms.
Winchester Crown Court heard how BAM Construction had been appointed by Network Rail to construct the £10million railway operating and training centre.
The Hemel Hempstead-based construction firm later appointed Hampshire company Shoreland Projects Ltd as the groundworks contractor for the project.
An investigation by the HSE found a number of workers including Mr Bradley were put at risk by numerous failures.
These included not properly identifying the presence of overhead power lines and appropriately planning work activity around them.
The investigation also found no suitable control measures were in place to prevent contact with the overhead lines.
BAM Construction Limited, of Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.
The company was fined £260,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,415.13.
Shoreland Projects of Woodhouse Lane, Botley, also pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,442.53.
Inspector Christie added that the “entirely preventable incident has had a permanent and very substantial effect on Mark’s life”.
He continued: “This case highlights the importance for all work to be planned properly by all duty holders.
“Overhead power lines pose a significant threat to the safety of workers.
“Construction work in the vicinity of live conductors must be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure the risks are controlled.”
A spokesperson for BAM Construction said: “BAM Construction deeply regrets the accident that occurred on our site at Basingstoke in January 2015.
“We are a responsible company and co-operated fully with the HSE’s investigation.
“We have one of the best safety records in the industry and have acted on the lessons learned.
“We constantly engage our staff and subcontractors in the drive to eliminate accidents and ensure that everyone goes home safe at the end of the day.”
Shoreland Projects did not respond to a request for comment.