Worker Injured In Explosion After Cable Strike

A renovation company was fined on 23rd September for breaching health and safety regulations after an employee was hospitalised after striking an underground live electricity cable.

SIAC Construction Ltd was prosecuted in Westminster Magistrates Court after the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found it had failed to properly identify the location of electricity cables to ground workers. It admitted breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £20,000 with £5,002 costs.

Trevor Maloney, who may be able to claim accident at work compensation against the company, was breaking paving stone mortar with an electric breaker as part of a major renovation project to Leicester Square, but struck the cable a few minutes into the job. This led to an explosion and flames, and Mr Maloney suffered burns to his face and hands.

Magistrates heard that had ground workers been told about the cable, or if it had been protected properly, the accident at work could have been avoided.

HSE Inspector Loraine Charles commented that the incident could have resulted in tragedy, saying Mr Maloney was “very fortunate” to have avoided more serious injuries.

“All practicable steps” must be taken to locate live underground services and to manage work to minimise the risk of these services being damaged, she added.

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