A contractor and subcontractor have been fined due to an employee being involved in an explosion caused by a cable strike resulting in retina damage.
A contractor had been subcontracted to work on a project to carry out cabling work as part of a wider construction project. The employee was excavating phases for laying 275kV cable, struck an existing live cable close by the excavator. This resulted in multiple explosions which in turn caused the driver’s retina to blister.
The fault lied with multiple parties. It was found that the permit to dig was not completed correctly by the contractor nor had the cable markings been checked by either party. This resulted in the live cables been wrongly located by around 50cm. On top of this there was inadequate monitoring and supervision during the completion of the work.
The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015 and Section 3 (1) Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and as a result was fined £900,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,327.52. In addition, the subcontractor pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3 (1) Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,430.72.