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Thu May 19 2022

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Contractor fined £35k after power cable strike

27 Mar 19 Sign-fitting contractor AR Signs Limited has been fined £35,000 for safety breaches after a worker suffered multiple serious burn injuries.

Sheffield magistrates heard how, on 14th September 2017, a 22-year-old employee of AR Signs was using a breaker tool to dig a hole for the posts of a new sign at the Hellaby Hall Hotel in Bramley, near Rotherham, when he struck a mains electricity cable, causing a large flash.

The worker suffered burn injuries to the inside of his right arm, the top of his right hand, the inside of his left arm, and the right-hand side of his face. He also had burns to his hair, eyelashes, eyebrows and beard.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that no cable diagram or ground scanner had been used to determine the presence of the mains cable. Nor had the young man been given any training in the use of the breaker.

AR Signs Ltd of Leicester Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire was found guilty of breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £35,000 and ordered to pay £2,475 in costs.

HSE inspector Sarah Robinson said after the hearing: “This wholly avoidable incident was caused by the failure of the company to appropriately plan and execute a safe system of work whilst fitting the signs. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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