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Darlington Firm Fined After Worker Suffers Severe Burn Injuries

A 41 year old builder suffered severe burn injuries to his neck, arms and face when he struck an 11,000 volt buried electrical cable with a jackhammer.

Mr. Sharp of Oakenshaw spent over a month in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.  In fact, he received treatment for his burns and physiotherapy for more than a year after the incident took place in November 2010.

The firm was slapped with £12,000 fine after it was found that there had been a breach of Health and Safety Regulations.

During an investigation carried out by the HSE, it was revealed that the construction workers had been given incorrect information.

On 6 February, 2013, Darlington Magistrate’s Court heard that the main contractor had informed the workers that there were no hidden electrical cables where they were required to dig holes to insert the base of fence posts.  However, this information was not true.

There was an electrical cable buried 80cm underground which caused a short circuit when it was struck with a ground breaker.  As a result of this, a million watts of energy was released which hit the victim and caused 20% burn injuries to his arms, neck and hand.

Northgate Vehicle Services admitted liability and was asked to pay a fine of £12,000 with an additional £6,123 in costs.