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Thu December 07 2023

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Cladder fined after cable strike

29 Nov 19 A roofing and cladding company has been fined after a worker drilled into a power cable on a job in Coventry.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard that on 28th November 2018 two self-employed workers received serious burns to their hands. They were working for Unique Envelope Façade Solution, doing repair work at AVL Powertrain on Viggen Way in Coventry.

The incident occurred while using a drill to attach a pre-fabricated cowling to a cable tray. One of the fixings went into a cable, striking one of the phases and causing an explosion. Both men were injured.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Unique Envelope Façade Solution Limited’s risk assessments and method statements did not consider the risk of drilling into cable trays containing live cables, isolating the electrics to complete work, or other methods of fixing that did not involve drilling.

Unique Envelope Façade Solutions Ltd of Winster Grove Industrial Estate, Great Barr, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company was fined £20,160 and ordered to pay costs of £1,178, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.

HSE inspector Gareth Langston said after the case: “This incident demonstrated the importance of the role of those preparing the job. The company overlooked the 415V 3 phase cabling they were drilling in towards. A cable strike, even at this voltage, can cause a major explosion.

“This incident has left two men with long-lasting burn injuries and they are now unable to work for a long time.”

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