Worker gets huge electric shock at solar farm site

Grant Prior 9 months ago
Share

Two companies have been fined £285,000 after a construction worker suffered life changing injuries when he received an electric shock from an overhead power line.

Ashley Coe, an agency worker, working on site for Pascon Limited was part of a group of workers laying cables in a trench when the incident happened on the 13 March 2013.

An excavator being used for the task tracked underneath a 33kV overhead power line and struck the power line.

Coe was helping to control a cable drum suspended from the arm of the excavator when the incident occurred.

Exeter Crown Court heard that work was taking place by British Solar Renewables Limited (BSR) to install a solar farm on site at Knockworthy Farm, Great Torrington, Devon.

Despite the high risk work being undertaken, BSR failed to install goal posts and signage to warn of the presence of overhead power lines in the area.

Subcontractor Pascon Limited who were installing the cables in the trench had failed to assess the risks of working under the overhead power lines, and subsequently had not appropriately planned, managed and monitored the work in order that it could be carried out safely.

As such they were using an unsafe method of installing the cables in the trench which ran underneath the overhead power lines.

As a result of the 33kV electric shock Coe suffered a life changing brain injury and had to be resuscitated by attending paramedics.

The court heard he has been affected in many different ways.

As a result of his injuries he suffers with short term memory loss, has some mobility issues and now no longer feels pain.

His speech has been affected and he has lost much of his independence. He is unlikely to ever work again. Two other workers received shocks but escaped serious injury.

Principal Contractor British Solar Renewables Limited of Glastonbury, Somerset, was charged with breaching CDM Regulations and received a £250,000 fine and was ordered to pay full costs of £72,466.

Subcontractor Pascon Limited, of Walsall, West Midlands was fined £35,000 plus £25,000 contribution to costs after admitting a CDM breach.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector James Lucas said: “This incident was entirely preventable and arose from clear failures to plan, manage and monitor the work and to ensure that the construction site was set up with appropriate measures to control the risks of working under overhead power lines.

“Luckily Mr Coe was resuscitated, but he now suffers from life changing complications due the electric shock he received. He was extremely close to losing his life and this is down to the failure of both construction companies involved in the work.”

Latest news

M&E bosses jailed over bribes for Royal contracts

Queen's property manager took £100,000 in bribes for palace contracts
8 hours ago

£110m Midlands shopping outlet village approved

Work to start on Mill Green factory outlet shopping village in autumn 2017
55 mins ago

Apple signs major office deal at Battersea Power Station

Computer giant to occupy six floors in the boiler house
16 hours ago

Scotland switches to project bank accounts

From November new building projects over £4m and civils projects over £10m required to use PBAs
22 hours ago

Crossrail builders face two mile trek to the toilet

Anger grows among workforce over site welfare standards
23 hours ago

U+I targets four ‘huburbs’ for 1,000 rental home plans

Ashford, Maidstone, Swanley and Woking schemes worth £250m
23 hours ago

Time to reward construction’s top teams

Only a few tables left for Enquirer awards night after 11,000 people voted for Top Ten winners
23 hours ago

Plan unveiled for £60m UClan Preston gateway

University of Central Lancashire reveals winning design for new student support centre
23 hours ago

AFC Wimbledon cleared to build new £16m stadium

The Dons and Galliard Homes set to go-ahead with 11,000 seat stadium and 600 homes
23 hours ago

Wolseley to close 80 branches axing 800 jobs

Plumbing and builders' merchant chain to streamline UK business
2 days ago

Wates links-up with Trafford Housing Trust to transform eysore

First scheme for new joint venture in the North West
2 days ago

Skanska to start next £70m phase of Helical Bar Old Street site

Skanska confirmed on The Tower at The Bower originally earmarked for John Sisk
2 days ago

Green light for next King’s Cross offices phase

Major 500,000 sq ft crescent-shaped office scheme approved
2 days ago

Newlon starts race for £200m new-build framework

London housing association plans to build 2,000 homes by 2022
2 days ago

Aldi to build 70 new stores next year

Budget supermarket chain aims to invest £300m in UK stores
3 days ago

Morrison Utility Services promotes Jim Arnold to chief executive

Charles Morrison steps up to become chairman of utility contractor
3 days ago

SES wins £43m M&E job at military rehab centre

M&E works secured at Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall
2 days ago

Crossrail faces demo over “missing” pay

Civils operatives claim high tech site access system is not registering all hours worked
3 days ago

J S Wright lands £4m building services package

Specialist to start in December on Brentford resi site
3 days ago

Wates appoints B&K director to head Midlands team

John Carlin joins Wates after 24 years with Bowmer and Kirkland
3 days ago

Green light for £200m Manchester Kampus scheme

Demolition work to start this Autumn for 500 private rented flats project
3 days ago

Arup blames Brexit for planned job cuts

Consultation starts on redundancies at London building division
3 days ago

Surrey Uni seeks builder for £34m student hall

More student accommodation planned after O'Hare & McGovern bags first scheme
3 days ago

Focus on Northern homes pays dividends for Gleeson

Owning a Gleeson home "cheaper than council house rent"
3 days ago

BBC starts hunt for contractor to rebuild Eastenders set

Procurement race starts for £15m revamp of Albert Square
6 days ago

London South Bank Uni unveils £500m development plan

University starts hunt for developer to deliver 10-year plan
3 days ago

Lakehouse job losses could hit 170

Redundancy programme continues at Essex contractor
6 days ago

Contractor hunt starts for £185m mixed-use Manchester job

Green light from planners for twin resi towers and office block
6 days ago

Mobile crane explodes causing fireball on M40

Highway contractors are planning to resurface the damaged part of the M40 today
7 days ago

Morgan Sindall on recruitment drive for £750m highways deal

Recruitment events in East Anglia next week: Register now
6 days ago