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South Lanarkshire Council Fined Over Electrical Burns Incident

Case ‘Highlights Consequences Of Work Accidents’


By Rob Dixon

A council in Scotland has been fined after two workers suffered serious burns in a work accident in July 2009 when they struck an electrical cable while digging a ditch.

Anthony Zambonini and David Leven were hurt in the incident in East Kilbride during work to lay a drainpipe, when the former thought he had struck rock and was unaware he was hitting an 11,000 volt live cable.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation into the incident found that the incident emerged as a result of an inadequate risk assessment, as well as a lack of a safe system of work and a failure to provide adequate information, instruction, supervision and training.

South Lanarkshire Council was fined £35,000 after pleading guilty to safety regulations in relation to the incident.

Elaine Russell, a Partner and specialist in workplace injury claims at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, said: “This is another example in which workers have suffered serious injuries as a result of an employer’s failure to take the necessary steps to ensure all aspects of health and safety have been considered prior to the beginning of the work.

“It also demonstrates the significant consequences that suffering serious injuries at work can have, with both of these men needing long-term support as part of their rehabilitation and recovery from the incident.

“The work we do helps victims of work accidents gain access to funds which ensure they can get the help they need to recover from the psychological and physical trauma they have suffered.

“Because of this we see time and time again we terrible impact that health and safety failings have on so many lives and we would urge employers to ensure lessons are learned from cases like this one so the risk of others facing such problems can be mitigated.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Burns, Scars and Laceration Claims