Two construction companies have ben fined more than £250,000 after a worker was electrocuted, suffering severe injuries.
BAM Construction and Shoreland Projects were fined after Mark Bradley suffered multiple life-changing injuries, including severe burns to his neck.
Winchester Crown Court heard how BAM Construction had been appointed by Network Rail to construct a new railway operating centre in Basingstoke. BAM later appointed Shoreland Projects as the groundworks contractor.
On 26 January 2015, when work began to install lampposts on the site entrance road, the fifth lamp post touched the 11kV overhead power lines when it was being lifted into position by an excavator, causing Bradley to suffer his injuries.
A colleague rushed to his aid, using a piece of timber to push him away from the lamp column.
An investigation by the HSE found a failure to properly identify the presence of the overhead power lines and appropriately plan this work activity. No suitable control measures were in place to prevent contact with the overhead power lines. A number of workers were put at risk, including Bradley.
BAM Construction, of Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company has been 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.
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector William Christie said: “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.”
Elsewhere electricity supplier Electricity North West was fined £900,000 after a worker died after falling six metres while carrying out routine maintenance of power lines.
Preston Crown Court heard that on November 22 2013, John Flowers, who was an experienced lineman, climbed a ladder resting against a wood pole to trim ivy away from the power lines.
It is believed that Flowers somehow cut through his work positioning strap and fell to his death.