A company has been fined after failing to protect its self-employed workers from the risk of a cable strike explosion or electrocution.
Coventry Magistrates’ Court was told that on 28 November 2018, two self-employed workers received serious burns to their hands whilst using a drill to attach a pre-fabricated cowling to a cable tray at AVL Powertrain, Viggen Way, Coventry. The incident occurred when one of the fixings went into a cable, striking one of the phases and causing an explosion.
The HSE’s investigation found that Unique Envelope Façade Solution Limited’s risk assessments and method statements did not consider the risk of drilling into cable trays containing live cables, isolating the electrics to complete work, or other methods of fixing which did not involve drilling.
Unique Envelope Façade Solutions Limited of Winster Grove Industrial Estate, Great Barr, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company was fined £20,160 and ordered to pay costs of £1,178, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.
Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Gareth Langston said: “This incident demonstrated the importance of the role of those preparing the job. The company overlooked the 415V 3 phase cabling they were drilling in towards. A cable strike, even at this voltage, can cause a major explosion.
“This incident has left two men with long-lasting burn injuries and they are now unable to work for a long time.”