Aintree native Lee McFadden, a thirty three year old maintenance worker, had been instructed to investigate a power loss for a crane at Liverpool’s Seaforth Container Terminal, according to personal injury lawyers familiar with the case. Mr McFadden enlisted the help of an electrician in order to investigate the power outage, but as he opened up the junction box and began to run tests with his low voltage multimeter in order to ascertain the source of the problem, a blinding flash and deafening bang enveloped both workers.
Mr. McFadden suffered temporary blindness from the flash and sustained serious burns to both his hands and face, which has since left him permanently scarred. The electrician who was helping Mr McFadden also suffered injuries in the incident, though his burns were not as severe.
The Government’s Health and Safety Executive began an investigation into the incident, discovering that the two workers had mistakenly assumed that the crane they were performing maintenance upon was low voltage. Believing the crane to be similar to another such device at the container terminal, the two workers assumed that they were dealing with a junction box with only 415 volts running through it.
Lancashire based Carrylift Materials Handling Ltd, the crane maintenance company, was successfully prosecuted by the HSE at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, where the company admitted to being in breach of regulations regarding the use of electricity at work. The firm, located in Skelmersdale on Peel Road, was given a fine of £15,000 and instructed to pay £14,568 in court costs for their part in the two men’s injuries.