Worker gets huge electric shock at solar farm site

Grant Prior 1 year 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

Subbies under attack from new breed of aggressive QS

Specialists at war with main contractor quantity surveyors
2 days ago

Scaffolding giant Palmers back under British ownership

New owner Colin Butt seals post-Brexit deal with German firm Xervon
2 days ago

Asbestos analyst fakes air testing certificates

Court hears how safety checks were not carried out properly on Manchester site
2 days ago

Ealing set for first major office scheme in a decade

Demolition work to start in April paving way for £50m building project
2 days ago

Subcontract rating wins Buckingham £37m waterpark

Coventry City Council scores package contractors in picking winning main contract bid
3 days ago

Crossrail in chaos as M&E work ripped out

100 electricians let go at Paddington as installation work grinds to a halt
3 days ago

Barratt finance boss exits after 15 months

Neil Cooper is leaving by mutual consent with immediate effect
2 days ago

Trade body questions future of CITB

Skills body in the firing line as it gears-up for crucial levy vote
3 days ago

Skills cards for fringe trades to be phased out

230,000 Construction Related Occupation cards to become obsolete
3 days ago

Mott MacDonald names new managing director

Mike Haigh rises from graduate to group MD in 35 years at Motts
2 days ago

Betting Spy: Rampant Spurs a big price at Man City

A Tottenham and Everton double pays a healthy looking 7/1
2 days ago

Pod specialist makes appeal to creditors

Modular contractor Aartoft could be heading for CVA
3 days ago

Plans lodged for 19-storey Coventry student block

Developer Crosslane submits 583-bed student accommodation scheme
3 days ago

Morgan Sindall wins Liverpool Knowledge Quarter work

Liverpool City Council awards two contracts worth £47m on Paddington Village scheme
4 days ago

Van Elle profit dips after Stock Market listing

Fall in specialist piling business profits hits first half performance
3 days ago

Skanska tightens grip on south west highways

Latest £175m Somerset deal follows £245m Devon highways term maintenance agreement
3 days ago

Watkin Jones targets PRS as profits surge

Strong student accommodation pipeline builds platform for growth
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall crowned 2016 contracts champion

Wates, Willmott Dixon and Mace join top 10 firms winning most work last year
4 days ago

Ex-Balfour finance chief to join Mitie after another profit warning

Two-day board meeting at Mitie to review strategy
4 days ago

Lendlease set for landmark £350m Google HQ job

Decision taken on vast King's Cross building contract last Thursday
5 days ago

U+I plans £300m of office refurb work

Developer links up with American firm to target sites in London, Manchester and Dublin
4 days ago

Loxam ups bid for Lavendon to £459m

Belgian and French giants slug it out for control of Leicester-based powered access specialist
4 days ago

Plans in for £40m Aberdeen FC stadium

Dons press ahead with 20,000-seat stadium and football academy plan
4 days ago

London Council unveils Wood Green regen plan

Major Wood Green town centre scheme relies on Crossrail 2 reroute
4 days ago

Laing O’Rourke to be replaced on £80m Whitechapel job

L&Q going back to market for new contractor on mixed-use scheme
5 days ago

Callum Tuckett joins Multiplex

New role for former Laing O'Rourke commercial director
5 days ago

Green light for £300m Luton regen scheme

Leisure and residential scheme to transform former Vauxhall car plant
5 days ago

Kier gears up for £85m Eastbourne mall expansion

Work to get underway on Arndale shopping centre extension
5 days ago

CITB plans levy cut in bid to survive

Training body offers to cut levy from 0.5% to 0.3% of staff wage bill
6 days ago

Wates starts £40m Kilburn housing scheme

Residential arm strengthens housing team as workload rises
6 days ago

Contractor services