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Death of worker sees 'nominal' £10,000 fine

31 October 2016

A case heard at Newport Magistrates' Court resulted in a nominal fine of £10,000 being issued after a worker died from electrocution while carrying out asbestos removal work.

Judge Brown, presiding over the case, said he would have recommended a fine of between £170,000 and £1m had the company not been in administration, according to Safety & Health Practitioner (SHP).

The incident occurred at Cwncarn High School in July 2013, when the worker accessed a ceiling void to establish an enclosure in which to place the asbestos in during removal.

While cutting plastic sheeting, the worker cut into a live electric wiring and died from the injuries he sustained, the court was told.

An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Caswell Environmental Services had failed to take sufficient measures to isolate the electrical supply of the school at the time.

The company was found guilty in its absence of breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974.

Judge Brown issued the £10,000 and explained this had to reflect the fact that the company was no longer in existence therefore had "no profit from which the court can extract punishment", according to SHP.

It was further reported that the prosecution had been unable to continue until the inquest into the worker's death had been completed.

This was completed in June this year, where a verdict of accidental death was recorded.

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