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Substantial fines for BAM and subcontractor

06 April 2017

Winchester Crown Court has handed down fines and costs totalling more than £300,000 to BAM Construction and one of its subcontractors after a worker was electrocuted, suffering life-changing injuries.

While installing a lamppost on 26 January 2015 on a Network Rail site in Basingstoke, Hampshire, the severe injuries to the man occurred when it touched the 11kV overhead power lines.

As a result, the man suffered multiple injuries, which included severe burns to his neck.

He was saved by a colleague who managed to push the worker away from the lamppost using a piece of timber.

A subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there had been no appropriate control measures put into practice to prevent contact being made with the overhead power lines.

This included failure to identify the overhead power lines and the risk involved, in addition to the absence of an appropriate work activity plan.

After pleading guilty to breaching the Electricity at Work Regulations, BAM Construction, of Hemel Hempstead, was fined £260,000 with £9,415 costs.

Shoreland Projects, of Botley, also submitted a guilty plea and received a fine of £22,000 with costs of £8,442.

HSE inspector William Christie praised the worker's colleague for his quick thinking in pushing him away from the lamppost, while emphasising the need to properly plan works by all duty holders.

"Overhead power lines post a significant threat to the safety of workers," said Mr Christie.

"Construction work in the vicinity of live conductors must be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure the risks are controlled."

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