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PCI PREVENT INJURIES

Pre Construction Information can help Prevent Catastrophic Injuries

Construction firm fined after employee suffered serious burns.

A company undertaking excavation work has been fined for safety breaches, when a worker was burned after striking underground electrical cables.

​In February 2016 an employee was excavating the ground at a site in the South East. He struck an electrical cable and was set on fire. He received significant burns to his lower body, causing him to be hospitalised for one month and unable to work for six weeks.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company failed to adequately plan, manage and monitor the construction work; failed to obtain drawings from the utility company detailing the position of underground cables, and did not re-scan the affected ground to a sufficient depth while excavation work was ongoing.

Both the injured person, and the employee responsible for scanning the ground did not receive training for their tasks, despite this being detailed in the company’s risk assessments and method statements.

The construction ​company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,979.68.

“While not being trained is a causal factor, I cannot help to think that if the services were identified within a sufficient PCI, coupled with the (Distribution Network Operator) DNO’s contact details and guidance notes, or at the very least ‘dial before you dig’ information, the contractor receiving this information could have planned and managed the works more appropriately thus preventing this unfortunate incident.” – MN