Employee suffers facial and bodily burns at Lincolnshire industrial estate

An employee suffered facial and bodily burns when A crowbar he was using made contact with an electrical wire.

On July 14, 2021, the individual was tasked with relocating hefty electrical cables using a metal crowbar while situated on a mobile elevating work platform.

The crowbar’s contact with the live conductor triggered an electrical blast at Copper Hill Industrial Estate, located on Ermine Street, Barkston Heath, Lincolnshire.

In addition to the burns, the explosion caused the worker to fall from the platform, resulting in a fractured left arm, broken ribs, and a dislocated kneecap.

The employee had been working for New Earth Solutions (West) operating under the name Mid UK Recycling, to perform duties at the company’s recycling facility located at Copper Hill Industrial Estate.

Following an investigation by HSE into the incident, it was revealed that the task undertaken by the injured worker was not within his usual scope of work, and he had not received training for electrical tasks.

The assignment had also not been properly planned or assessed for risks, and the electrical cables were not properly isolated before the work.

The area lacked supervision and safety measures on the electrical supply weren’t properly configured.

New Earth Solutions (West), with its address at Station Road, Caythorpe, Grantham, Lincolnshire, admitted to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The company was fined £200,000 and directed to pay £12,466.60 in costs by Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on May 10, 2024.

HSE inspector Tim Nicholson said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by properly planning the task, ensuring that all workers involved were suitably competent and making sure that electrical conductors were isolated before the work began.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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