Demolition worker turned into fireball

Grant Prior 10 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.

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

Race for £100m Immingham ferry terminal job

AB Ports aims to start work in mid 2023
10 hours ago

Sisk wins Stockport £60m Weir Mill restoration

Work to start next month on 250 flats scheme
12 hours ago

Developer swoops for 1,000-flats landmark Leeds site

Revised plans to be submitted by the end of the year for start soon after
21 hours ago

Dominvs seals £173m funding for 713-bed student job

HG Construction to start major Hammersmith student complex in November
1 day ago

Briefings start for £1bn Midland Mainline Electrification plan

Market engagement starts for next seven sections covering 139km route to Sheffield
11 hours ago

Forterra pushes back £27m factory refurb plan

Supply chain shortages hit project as brick prices rose another 12% last month
11 hours ago

Speedy Hire results slowed down by KPMG

Hire giant left "frustrated and disappointed" by delay request from auditor
12 hours ago

London office starts set to surge over next 6 months

Deloitte Crane Survey predicts jump in starts in Capital despite high building costs
1 day ago

Fit-out firm BW Workplace slips into the red

£5.2m backdated R&D tax credit deal lifts after tax performance
1 day ago

Hinkley Point delayed another year as costs rise by £3bn

Covid blamed for construction delays and cost increases
4 days ago

Competition probe launched into Bouygues’ Equans takeover

Bouygues is hoping to finalise acquisition later this year
1 day ago

TfL seeks developers for trio of over-station sites

Plum sites at Bank, Paddington and Southwark come with consent for 600,000 sq ft
1 day ago

Underwater drone used to check offshore wind farm foundations

Underwater robots deployed for inspection and maintenance work
1 day ago

DfE to unveil plans for school procurement shake-up

Supply chain summit to be held next month in Birmingham on future of schools frameworks
4 days ago

Plan for £100m clifftop hotel and flats in Newquay

Developer Salboy's landmark scheme to go in for planning shortly
4 days ago

Top 30 M&E contractors set for growth – ranking

Major M&E firms prepare for work surge after riding out pandemic
4 days ago

Former Mace boss joins Taylor Wimpey board

Mark Castle takes on another non-exec role
4 days ago

ISG starts £28m duo of Yorkshire leisure centre jobs

Harrogate and Knaresborough leisure centre jobs get underway
4 days ago

HS2 workforce surges to 25,000 jobs milestone

Over 2,500 firms form the HS2 supply chain
4 days ago

Green light for 1.4m sq ft Yorkshire logistic hub

Work at the site, located 24 miles from Leeds city centre, is expected in September.
4 days ago

Contractors lift tender margins to 9% on bids in the Capital

Developer Landsec to press ahead with trio of London office schemes this year despite cost inflation
5 days ago

Fire safety work plunges Countryside to £182m loss

Countryside Partnerships forms dedicated division to handle retrofits on a 123 buildings
5 days ago

Site wages row looms as union dismisses “derisory” pay offer

Unions want 10% increases but employers offer less than 4%
5 days ago

Fusion wins Manchester high rise student block appeal

Planning inspector overturns city council refusal for 28-storey Deansgate block
5 days ago

Failed London fit-out specialist owed trade firms £13m

Twenty 1 Group owed HMRC £9.7m leaving more than 300 firms with no hope of payment
6 days ago

Demolition work imminent on half-built Taylor Wimpey flats

Angry local residents share pictures of site set to be torn down
5 days ago

B&K returns to strong profit growth across the group

Pre-tax profit jumps 23% to £65m as revenue edges up to £1.18bn
6 days ago

British Land expects tender price inflation to hit 10%

Developer says 91% of costs are fixed on planned schemes
6 days ago

Morgan Sindall set for £80m leisure and health hub

West Suffolk public service development to be built at no extra cost to tax payers
6 days ago

Plans in for £500m Hollow Mountain pumped hydro scheme

Work removing 2m tonnes of rock could start within two years
1 week ago

Contractor services