Construction company Amey has recently been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds after one of their sub-contracted workers was severely electrocuted.

Steven Brown was working at traffic lights in Gloucester City Centre when the incident took place. He dug into a concrete box with his breaker machine. This box housed an 11,000 volt cable which resulted in the worker being engulfed in flames.

Brown suffered “large deep burns” to his abdomen, leg and face. Rushed to hospital, he was airlifted to a burns ward for treatment. Initially, there were worries the victim would lose his sight. However, it was noted that, “his sight has returned to pre-accident levels.”

The victim did however have to be placed in a medically induced coma though for the first two weeks after the incident. Not only that, but Brown has also suffered “life changing effects, which are still ongoing, and he has not been able to return to work.”

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The prosecution for the Health and Safety Executive also stated that the victim suffered a “massive electric shock which brought about very significant and long lasting injuries.”

Apparently, the incident occurred due to failures in communication between both the sub contractors and Amey themselves. Amey explained that they had employed a cable avoidance specialist. However, his notes were apparently not made easily available to workers. Alongside this, delays to the work also meant that their “permit to dig” had also expired. Therefore, the judge argued that, “work should not have restarted without repeated scanning.”

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The judge did however acknowledge that Amey had recently won two awards for health and safety. However, in the end it was ruled that the construction company would be fined £600,000. Not only that, but they were also charged an added £15,948 in costs as well.

So what do you think? Have you experienced similar health and safety mistakes? Let us know in the comments below.


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