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Sat June 19 2021

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Contractor fined five years after cable strike

22 Mar 16 A Helensburgh contracting company has been fined after a worker hit an underground cable and suffered burns to his hands and face while digging footings for fence posts on a primary school refurbishment project... five years ago.

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that the incident took place on 1st September 2011 at a construction site at Heatheryknowe Primary School in East Kilbride. A worker for Stewart & Shields Limited was digging holes to erect a fence when he struck a 430V underground electric services cable, causing minor flash burns to his hands and face.

The Health & Safety Executive investigated the incident and found that site reports containing information about ‘buried services’ were made available to the company but they had failed to provide this information to workers or mark where the power lines were buried. They should also have also ensured that workers using the machinery were adequately trained.

Stewart & Shields Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 34(3) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and Section 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £7,500.

HSE Inspector Graeme McMinn said: “There is an obligation on contractors to ensure that workers are informed of the dangers from buried underground services, and the need to ensure those services are located, checked and clearly marked.”

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