A West Midlands man suffered a serious personal injury at work after he accidentally drilled into an underground power cable.
The man, who has not been named, was working on a housing development scheme owned by Taylor Wimpey when the accident occurred last year. He was digging a trench with a pneumatic drill, but he had not been warned about the underground 11,000 volt power cables. He struck one with the drill and suffered personal injuries as a result.
The worker sustained severe burns from the resulting huge flash of electricity and he was rushed to hospital for emergency medical treatment.
The Health and Safety Executive investigated the accident and discovered that employees were unaware of the presence of the power cables, and their positions were not marked on the ground. They prosecuted the man’s employer, Pacestone Construction Limited, on the grounds that they broke health and safety regulations. Pacestone Construction Limited pleaded guilty to the charges at Walsall Magistrates’ Court and received a fine of £13,000.
The accident was easily preventable, a spokesperson from the HSE said. The firm should have used cable detectors and visibly marked out the location of the cables. If their location had been known, employees could have used hand tools when digging in the immediate vicinity.
Around 25 people die every year in UK workplaces from electrical accidents. If you have been the victim of an accident at work and want to claim personal injury compensation, you would be well advised to get expert advice from a qualified personal injury solicitor.