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Fri May 07 2021

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Cable strike costs Amey £600k fine

9 Mar 17 Amey LG has been fined £600,000 after a worker on a streetworks job was set on fire when he struck a live underground power cable.

Underground cabling at the scene of the incident
Underground cabling at the scene of the incident

Gloucester Crown Court heard how the 61-year-old man was working for an Amey subcontractor on Eastgate Street in the town on 29th May 2015. While trying to replace a traffic light pole he came into contact with a live underground cable, which immediately gave him the electric shock and set him on fire. He suffered burns to his to hands, arms, stomach, face, legs and chest.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that, although this was the first time this team had worked on an Amey project, Amey did not provide adequate information on the location of underground services in the area. The inquiry also found that Amey’s supervision of the work was inadequate, and it had not properly managed the risks.

Amey LG Limited, of Edmund Halley Road, Oxford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 25 (4) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £600,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,498.

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HSE principal inspector Helena Tinton said after the hearing: “This man suffered life changing injuries as a result of this incident. He has not been able to return to work, he still can’t use his hands properly and has been left both physically and mentally scarred by what happened. Had Amey given adequate information to the team working on site, and had Amey ensured the work was properly planned and supervised, this incident could have been avoided.

“This case should act as a reminder to local authorities and their contractors of the risks of working underground and the danger of severe electric shocks.”

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