Dangers Of Overhead Cable Work Highlighted By £130,000 Fine

Worker Seriously Injured In Farm Incident


An accident at work expert at Irwin Mitchell has warned all companies working on sites close to overhead cables to take proper precautions to protect their staff.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries at the law firm, made the call after two companies, a director and sub-contractor were fined a total of £130,000 over an incident when a scissor lift driver suffered an electric shock while cladding the end of a steel frame.

Steel erector Mark Rushbrook was left with serious burns and internal damage following the work accident at Sunny Farm in Bedfordshire in 2009, which occurred when the frame came into contact with the cable.

Farm owner C and P Bird Brothers Ltd and the firm’s director Peter Bird were fined in relation to the incident, while the steel frame manufacturer Morspan Construction Ltd were also order to pay fines.

Michael Skayman, a sub-contractor on the project, was also fined after admitting health and safety breaches.

Commenting on the case, David Urpeth of Irwin Mitchell said: “This horrific accident at work highlights just why the right safety precautions need to be put in place to ensure those working close to overhead cables are not at risk of injury.

“All workers need to be given the best possible support in order to undertake their jobs in the safest possible manner and the failings seen in this case cannot be ignored.

“Lessons need to be learnt from this case and we hope that all companies involved in construction work close to power lines recognise the importance of taking all of the necessary steps to protect their staff.”