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Sunday, 18 August

Shocking Ways to Land in Court

BAM Construction Limited and Shoreland Projects Limited have been fined after a man suffered multiple life changing injuries including severe burns to his neck.

Winchester Crown Court heard how BAM Construction Ltd had been appointed by Network Rail to construct a new railway operating centre in Basingstoke. BAM later appointed Shoreland Projects Ltd as the groundworks contractor for this project.

On 26 January 2015, when work began to install lampposts on the site entrance road, the fifth lamp post touched the 11kV overhead power lines when it was being lifted into position by an excavator, causing Mark Bradley to suffer his injuries. A colleague rushed to Mark’s aid, using a piece of timber to push him away from the lamp column.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found a failure to properly identify the presence of the overhead power lines and appropriately plan this work activity.  No suitable control measures were in place to prevent contact with the overhead power lines.  A number of workers were put at risk, including Mr Bradley.

BAM Construction Limited, of Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company has been fined £260,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9415.13.

Shoreland Projects Limited of Woodhouse Lane, Botley also pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 14 of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, has been fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8442.53.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector William Christie said: “While this entirely preventable incident has had a permanent and very substantial effect on Mark’s life, his very serious injuries could have been even worse had it not been for the quick thinking of his colleague.

“This case highlights the importance for all work to be planned properly by all duty holders. Overhead power lines pose a significant threat to the safety of workers.  Construction work in the vicinity of live conductors must be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure the risks are controlled.”

 

Two companies have been fined after unsafe asbestos work was carried out on a property in Leatherhead, Surrey.

Staines Magistrates’ Court heard how Kingsley Asbestos Services Limited (KAS), although a licensed asbestos removal contractor, was sub contracted by Bourne Valley Construction Services Limited (BVCS) to carry out the work.

KAS removed some asbestos containing materials and agreed to carry out repair works on other water damaged materials within the properties. During works to cut away damaged wall coverings in the kitchen, one of the workers cut into a pale coloured board which after subsequent testing proved it to be Asbestos Insulation Board.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found BVCS failed to plan the work and pass on information to KAS. It was the responsibility of both BVCS and KAS to arrange for a refurbishment and demolition survey. As a consequence work was carried out without establishing the location, presence and extent of asbestos containing materials on site.

HSE Inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “Asbestos still kills around 5000 workers each year and around 20 tradesmen die each week as a result of past exposure.

“BVCS were in control of the works and should have provided information identified in such a survey or assessment regarding the presence of asbestos to KAS as their sub-contractor.”

Bourne Valley Construction Services Ltd of Salisbury, Wiltshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007, was fined £8000 and ordered to pay full costs.

Kingsley Asbestos Services Ltd of Ferring in Worthing pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5 (1) (a) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, was fined £6000 and ordered to pay full costs.

Picture: Winchester Combined Court where BAM Construction and Shoreland Projects were fined for electrical failures

Article written by Robin Snow

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