Waste management company fined £200,000 after man suffered serious burns



A waste management company in Lincolnshire has been fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £12,466.60 in costs after a man suffered serious burns.

The man was moving heavy duty electrical cables using a metal crowbar when it came into contact with the live conductor.

This caused an electrical explosion at Copper Hill industrial estate, Ermine Street, Barkston Heath, Lincolnshire.

The explosion caused the man to suffer serious burns to his face and body, and also caused him to fall from a mobile elevating platform and sustain a broken left arm, fractured ribs and dislocated kneecap.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the waste management company following the incident on 14 July 2021.

An investigation into the incident found the task was not part of the normal workload for the injured worker and that he had not received any training, the HSE said.

This incident could so easily have been avoided by properly planning the task.

The HSE said the task had not been properly planned or risk assessed, and the electrical cables were not isolated before work began. 

The level of supervision provided was inadequate and safety devices on the electrical supply had been set inappropriately, the HSE said.

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

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

HSE inspector Tim Nicholson commented: “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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