Contractor fined £32,000 following accident that left two workmen with serious burns

The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning about live electricity cables on site following a prosecution over an incident that saw two workmen seriously burned.

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Scaffolder Paul Mason was engulfed in flames and plasterer Kieran Williams thrown to the ground after one of them fell onto a live cable on a construction site in Liverpool.

Contractor SP Power Systems was prosecuted over the accident under the Health and Safety Act and pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable steps so that persons not in its employment were not exposed to risks. It was fined £32,000, plus £15,000 costs.

The company had been employed to seal the end of an exposed, live cable on the site in October 2005 following a HSE inspection that had identified a risk. However, it failed to make it clear to the site team that the cable was still live. The incident occurred six months later in March 2006.

HSE inspector Wayne Crumpton said: "This incident could so easily have resulted in multiple fatalities and the message must go home to all those responsible for electrical systems on construction sites that this is a harsh environment and one that needs managing well.”