In August 2018, a ground worker suffered serious burns to their hands and arms when they struck a 415v power cable whilst excavating for a ANPR camera support post.
The incident, as reported by The Construction Index indicated that the Ground Worker abandoned hand digging when they encountered hedgerow roots in favour of a mechanical electrical breaker.
The HSE found that proper training was not in place and no supervisor was present at the time the ground worker struck the power cable.
The ground worker did not therefore use a Cable Avoidance Tool to check for buried services or consult any existing records.
The Principal Contractor was fined £400K and ordered to pays costs, whilst the Director of the Groundworks Company was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months and received a 150 hour community order.
This demonstrates that the principal contractor needs to ensure that their subcontractors are behaving appropriately and not assume HSG47 regulations are being adhered to.
In addition, even the smallest of jobs still requires a level of utility detection.
GEOTEC Surveys Ltd have worked at a number of similar sites over the last year, of which an example of our results is below.