A Shropshire-based sub-contractor has been prosecuted and fined after the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) stepped in over an incident which saw an unnamed worker suffer burns while excavating at a site in Birmingham.
The 38-year-old worker – who preferred to remain anonymous – suffered burns to his arms and eyebrows, while the clothing he was wearing was also set alight by the electrical discharge, when he struck an underground mains cable while replacing pavement edging.
HSE inspector Paul Thompson said following the hearing at Birmingham Magistrates' Court: "The worker is very lucky to be alive … As he struck the pin it caused a 'Roman Candle' effect of fire and sparks to erupt from the ground, sending a jet of fire up from the pin."
Sub-contractor Ricky Paul James was fined GBP 2,500 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of GBP 4,727.
A similar case was recently reported by Bury Metropolitan Borough Council, where an unnamed worker was electrocuted when the jackhammer he was using struck a 230-volt mains cable. The incident resulted in a GBP 20,000 fine for the local authority.
Posted by Trevor Baker