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£600,000 fine for BT for workers' serious injuries

02 June 2016

Following serious injuries sustained by two British Telecommunications' (BT) workers in April 2010, the company has been fined £600,000, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

During the trial, initiated by the HSE, it was stated that injuries were sustained by an Open Reach engineer after he fell from a stepladder while installing a cable on the first floor of the company's Darlington Automatic Telephone Exchange.

His fall occurred after he felt a sharp pain in his right arm, with injuries to his back and neck occurring when he fell.

The court was told that HSE investigators concluded that the accident was not investigated properly.

This was further compounded when the work was allowed to continue later the same day, when a second engineer fell from another ladder and received serious head and back injuries as a result.

While the first engineer was able to return to work after a year, he lost his sense of smell and test and required physical therapy for several years.

After sustaining multiple fractures to his skull and spine, the second engineer was blinded in one eye and has long-term memory problems and his sense of smell and taste has also been affected.

The HSE said the work had not been properly planned and that serious failings within the electrical lighting system exposed workers to live metal parts, some at 240 volts.

Teesside Crown Court fined BT £600,000 after the company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and ordered it to pay costs of £60,000.

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