Demolition worker turned into fireball

Grant Prior 7 years ago
Share

A contractor and an architect have been fined £60,000 after a demolition worker was engulfed in flames when he cut through a live 11,000 volt cable at an electricity substation in Worcester.

hse logo

Birmingham firm DSM Demolition Ltd and Halesowen-based Gould Singleton Architects Ltd (GSA) were sentenced last Friday following the incident on July 14 2006.

Worcester Crown Court heard that DSM was demolishing a metal casting foundry in Wainwright Road, Worcester, when Lee Harris, 35, was told to cut through a cable, which was connected to a switching unit on a substation on the site, which was still live.

As the machine he was using to cut through the cable came into contact with the live conductors, he was engulfed by flames, suffering 20% burns, which have left him with permanent disabilities and required skin grafts.

Neither planning supervisor GSA nor demolition contractor DSM had made adequate checks to ensure that the electricity on the site had been disconnected.

GSA had told DSM that all services to the site had been terminated when actually the power supply remained live.

DSM should have ensured that the electrical services had been disconnected before starting demolition, but failed to do so.

DSM Demolition Ltd, of Arden Road, Birmingham was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £100,000 costs.

Gould Singleton Architects Ltd, of Whitehall Road, Halesowen was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £20,872 costs for breached of the CDM regulations.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Tariq Khan said: “Neither of the two companies prosecuted today had made adequate checks to ensure that the power supply to the cable required to be cut by Mr Harris had been terminated.

“Had they done so then this incident would never have happened and Mr Harris would not have suffered such serious injuries.

“Construction, design and management co-ordinators must ensure that the information they pass on to contractors which could affect the safety of their workers is correct.

“Likewise, demolition contractors must follow safe systems of work at all times and ensure they check information provided to them about services on site with independent, competent sources.”

Latest news

Willmott homes arm fined £1.25m over gas blunder

Court hears how residents were put at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
6 hours ago

Eggborough gas-fired power station gains consent

Work could start by summer next year at North Yorkshire site
4 hours ago

£100m Aberdeen Broadford Works village plan approved

Demolition work to start at historic former textile factory site
5 hours ago

Go-ahead for £160m Leeds Monk Bridge scheme

McAlpine is on board as preferred contractor for the project
14 hours ago

Opinion: Safety fines are getting out of control

We need more effective ways to improve safety than ever higher penalties
14 hours ago

Shake-up for £2.9bn MoD hard FM contracts

Post-Carillion bid race for MoD estate and housing regional FM contracts
1 day ago

Wates set to start on £53m Portsmouth sports centre

Contractor understood to have won contract race for new university complex
2 days ago

Lack of skilled roofers prompts Marley new launch

Easy to install roofing roll compensates for lack of skilled workers
14 hours ago

Caddick takes workforce plastic-free

Workers given aluminium drinks bottles in bid to bin single-use plastics
22 hours ago

Wates wins 7th Leeds Wellington Place job

Work will start of £35m 4 Wellington Place project next month
1 day ago

Kier targets £50m disposals to cut £375m debt

Firm sets out debt reduction plan in robust year-end results
2 days ago

Betting Spy: Spurs to shrug off recent troubles

Tottenham can kick-start a win treble with Leicester and Crystal Palace
23 hours ago

Keltbray concrete structures boss exits

Keltbray Structures MD Gordon Dunne on gardening leave
2 days ago

141 jobs axed as M&E specialist George Birchall fails

Larger FM business George Birchall Service avoids administration
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall bags £384m London scheme first phase

Hackney scheme includes an academy, leisure centre and six blocks of flats
2 days ago

Mace confirms £180m Olympic Park East Village deal

Firm will fine-tune its 'rising factory' method on the No6 East Village project
2 days ago

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

BIM and Microsoft HoloLens used to check M&E work
2 days ago

PM pledges extra £2bn for housing associations over 10 years

Longterm funding will be made available from 2022-2029
2 days ago

Jacobs to lead Edinburgh city centre transformation plan

Team will set out plan for historic overhaul of streets and public space
2 days ago

Costain and Galliford Try fined £2.8m after worker loses toes

Massive fine after accident at Cheshire water treatment works
3 days ago

Boost your online presence – join the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
5 months ago

Van Elle shareholders stage AGM revolt

Shareholders block board's ability to issue new shares for acquisitions
3 days ago

£100m Bristol sports arena plan at Ashton Gate stadium

Sports and convention centre will be attached to Lansdown Stand
3 days ago

Balfour Beatty raises £43m from hospital stake sale

Balfour sells 50% stake in Fife Hospital PPP
3 days ago

Kier offloads pensions unit for £3.5m

Third party pension management business administers half of all police pension
3 days ago

Willmott Dixon clinches £38m Winchester sports centre

Work to start in Spring 2019 on major leisure and sports complex
3 days ago

Architect TP Bennett reaches record turnover

Manchester office grows on back of city building boom
3 days ago

Brexit migration plan would “cripple construction”

Industry pleas ignored over need for steady flow of low-skilled site workers
3 days ago

Wates wins £16m Stockport college revamp

Work is due to start in the early new year on Wellington Road Campus
3 days ago

Balfour Beatty pioneers plastic pylons in Scotland

140 composite poles installed by new helicopter crane in just five days
3 days ago

Contractor services