Worker gets huge electric shock at solar farm site

Grant Prior 2 years 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

Alandale Rail bosses jailed for Thameslink corruption

Four men jailed and Alandale Rail fined £25,000 over fraud and bribes at Farringdon station project
14 hours ago

Demolition firms lead way with virtual smart cards

Skills cards can now be stored on smartphones
6 hours ago

Legal row hits stalled £200m Liverpool Chinatown

Council and developer in war of words over flagship scheme
15 hours ago

Skanska confirms £142m Tin Pan Alley contract

Skanska signs off contract for London Giles Circus mixed-use development
15 hours ago

Deal to start £65m Sussex shopping centre

Pre-sale and lease deals trigger Burgess Hill town centre revamp
14 hours ago

Jacobs in merger talks with CH2M

Merger would create global engineering giant to rival AECOM
15 hours ago

Race on for £240m Leicester construction framework

Four-year framework to deliver schools and city centre redevelopment plan
16 hours ago

Final week to vote for best companies in construction

Laing O'Rourke and Cemex are latest sponsors to support the Enquirer awards
15 hours ago

Plans in for £400m Kent housing scheme

Medway's 1,400-home Rochester Riverside plan submitted
3 days ago

Hotel contract row forces Primus into CVA

Contractor set up by former Multiplex boss Martin Tidd faces cash flow crisis
4 days ago

Manchester’s tallest building set for green light

Allied London's most ambitious scheme so far set for approval
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall hunts top talent at virtual jobs fair

Construction & Infrastructure division takes careers event online to boost diversity
4 days ago

Landmark VAT ruling on student rooms projects

Tax tribunal overturns HMRC’s VAT policy on student accommodation
4 days ago

Grenfell cladding fire test verdict due next week

Government slashes estimate of residential blocks at risk from 600 to 208
4 days ago

£100m East Riding prison gets green light

Category C jail to be built next to HMP Full Sutton, near York
4 days ago

GSK scraps £350m Cumbria pharma plan

Pharma giant will invest extra £140m existing facility expansion
4 days ago

Specialists land first trade packages at huge Berkeley site

Main construction starts on 88-acre Southall Waterside site
4 days ago

Electrification plans scrapped on three major rail routes

Contracts worth millions axed as Government switches focus to new train technology
4 days ago

Project delays dent Clugston results

Contractor confident about future prospects following a "challenging" year
4 days ago

UK drags Skanska Europe into £40m loss

Skanska chief aims to cut operational costs and tighten risk management
5 days ago

McLaren set to bag £45m Lakeside extension

Contractor beats off McAlpine, ISG and Sisk to take Essex retail deal
5 days ago

Demand grows for immediate revamp of building regs

Local council chief attacks BRE, contractors and manufacturers for not sharing previous fire test results
5 days ago

Canary Wharf Contractors pays £11,000 tax on £70m profit

Company offsets £13.9m Corporation Tax bill against losses at other group divisions
5 days ago

Mount Anvil plans 1,000 flats in London Royal Docks

Deal with London ExCel centre paves way to build block of apartments
5 days ago

Consultant RLB stages mass raid on Mace managers

Five senior figures jump ship to join rival
5 days ago

Ministers reject client levy option in Farmer Review

Government backs most calls for reform but stops short of 0.5% charge on clients
5 days ago

Construction and fit out boost profits at Morgan Sindall

Contractor bucks recent sector trend by telling City to expect higher than predicted profits
6 days ago

Lendlease ordered to pay £14.8m for city tower falling glass

Cladding contractor to pick up bill after 15-foot glass pane fell from 17th floor
6 days ago

Civil engineers act to avert Grenfell-style disasters

ICE launches review of lessons from tower tragedy to avoid infrastructure failures
6 days ago

Man killed in derelict church collapse

Tragedy at Cardiff site where old church was being demolished
6 days ago

Contractor services