• Robert Spicer

House of Lords construction work: two workers severely burned in electrical explosion

Electrical explosion: two companies fined £90,000

Health and Safety Executive v Clive Graham Associates Limited and Bellmoor Construction Limited (2015) Southwark Crown Court, December 18

Two companies have been fined following an incident in which two workers were seriously injured in an electrical explosion.

Significant points of the case

  • In July 2013 the workers, employees of Bellmoor, were laying bricks at the House of Lords site at Millbank, London. One of the men struck a live 11,000 volt cable with a jackhammer while removing old brickwork.

  • Both suffered serious burns which needed long-term medical treatment.

  • CGA had failed to identify the risk from live electrical cables which had been dug up and exposed. It also failed to provide warning information that the cable was live and failed to adequately manage the site and the contractor.

  • Bellmoor failed to carry out an adequate risk assessment before the work started, failed to provide effective supervision during the work and failed to check competence before allocating tasks, including the operation of the jackhammer.

CGA, the principal contractor for the project, was fined £45,000 plus £6600 costs for a breach of section 3, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of non-employees.

Bellmoor was fined £45,000 plus £6600 costs under section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees.

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