Worker suffers electric shock
On 30 September 2019 an employee of a groundworks company was pouring concrete on a site near Banbury when the floating arm of a mobile pump came into contact with an overhead powerline. As a result, the employee received an 11,000-volt shock which caused him to lose consciousness. Colleagues had to perform CPR to resuscitate him at the scene. He was later taken to hospital where he was in a coma for six-days and hospitalised for ten-days. The HSE investigation found that the company fell far below expected standards and failed to implement its own control measures documented within its risk assessment.
The HSE investigation also found that the sole trader failed to plan, manage or monitor the construction phase and failed to ensure reasonably practicable control measures were in place. Additionally, the concrete pump operator failed to take reasonable care for the health & safety of himself and others who were affected by his act and omission. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and the company was fined £50,000 and £5,425 in costs plus a £181 victim surcharge of £181 at Oxford Magistrates Court on 28 October 2022.
The sole trader pleaded guilty to breaching CDM 2015 and fined £3,000 and £525 in costs plus a £181 victim surcharge. And the concrete pump operator pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act and handed a twelve-month community order with a requirement to carry out sixty-hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs plus a £90 victim surcharge.
“The company could have ensured that the mobile concrete pump lorry was positioned outside an exclusion zone to prevent contact with the overhead powerline. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”