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Town Hall fined for breaching safety after worker is burned

PUBLISHED: 19:44 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:57 05 October 2010

Accident in 2005 where Martin Rose was badly injured

Accident in 2005 where Martin Rose was badly injured

MAGISTRATES have fined Tower Hamlets Council in East London for illegally breaching safety regulations after a worker was badly burned when he struck an underground power cable in the street. Contract employee Martin Rose was operating a mechanical concrete breaker in Bethnal Green to replace an old lamp-post when he was injured

By Mike Brooke

MAGISTRATES have fined Tower Hamlets Council in East London for illegally breaching safety regulations after a worker was badly burned when he struck an underground power cable in the street.

Contract employee Martin Rose was operating a mechanical concrete breaker in Bethnal Green to replace an old lamp-post when he was injured.

He was given no plans to show where a live power cable was where he was drilling.

Nor was Martin being supervised while operating the concrete crusher on the pavement in Old Bethnal Green Road when he struck the live 132Kv cable.

The local authority was found guilty by City of London magistrates of breaching the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £15,000, with £39,089 costs.

Their contractors, T Cartledge Ltd, also landed in court in a separate prosecution related to the October 2005 accident.

The company, which admitted the breach of safety and was fined £18,000 with £14,555costs, was slammed by the national Health & Safety Executive this week for failing to supply plans of the cables.

“This incident would never have happened if the company had simply provided the plans and had supervised the work,” said investigating inspector Janet Seggery.

“This is a dreadful case where the employer had failed to provide plans of underground cables.”

Now the HSE is demanding companies improve safety working practices when using mechanical equipment, especially where dangerous power lines could be involved.


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