Ashley Coe, an agency worker on site for Pascon Limited, was part of a group of workers laying cables in a trench when he received an electric shock from an overhead power line.
British Solar Renewables Limited (BSR) were working to install a solar farm on site at Knockworthy Farm where, despite the high risk of work being undertaken, they failed to install goal posts and signage to warn of the presence of overheard power lines in the area.
Pascon Limited were subcontracted onto the farm to install cables in the trench. However, as they failed to assess the risks of working under the overhead power lines, they were using an unsafe method of installing the cables. As a result, Mr Coe suffered an electric shock which resulted in a life changing brain injury leading to short term memory loss, reduced mobility, loss of independence, affected speech, and the inability to feel pain.
There were also two other workers who received shocks but escaped serous injury.
Principle Contractor BSR Limited, were charged with breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2007/320, received a £250,000 fine, and were ordered to pay full costs of £72,466.
Subcontractor Pacson Limited were fined £35,000 plus were ordered to pay a £25,000 contribution to costs after admitting a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2007/320.
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspector, James Lucas, has said: “This incident was entirely preventable and arose from clear failures to plan, manage and monitor the work and to ensure that the construction site was set up with appropriate measures to control the risks of working under overhead power lines…luckily Mr Coe was resuscitated, but he now suffers from life changing complications due to the electric shock he received. He was extremely close to losing his life and this is down to the failure of both construction companies involved in the work.”