Social Housing Firm Fined Over Workplace Injury

Worker Suffered Burns After Cable Incident

08.11.2010

A social housing firm has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £3,000 in relation to an incident in which a worker suffered burns.

Coast and Country Housing was prosecuted over the injuries suffered by Robert Stubbs, who hit an 11,000-volt electricity cable while using a five-foot steel bar to create a hole for a stake that would support a tree.

While the Redcar resident let go of the bar, he still suffered burns and was forced to take time off work for two weeks due to headaches.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation suggested that the incident could have been avoided if a suitable assessment had been carried out and also suggested that the correct safety systems should have been in place.

Commenting on the incident, Irwin Mitchell’s workplace injury lawyer David Urpeth said: “There are several aspects of this case which are particularly concerning.

“Arguably the most worrying is that the inspection by the HSE suggested that Mr Stubbs’ team did not have access to information on the dangers of underground services or all of the correct safety systems in place.

“All employers need to put health and safety higher up the agenda, as all people deserve to know that their welfare is taken seriously by the organisations they work for.”