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Redhill company fined after construction worker dies
12:41pm Friday 21st September 2012 in Local News
A Redhill-based construction company has been ordered to pay £210,000 in fines and costs after an employee died following an explosion on a construction site in central London. The explosion happened after damage was caused to an 11,000 volt live cable within an excavation.
Southwark Crown Court heard that Birse Metro Limited of Redhill had not informed workers that there were live cables in the excavation.
It also heard that the company had failed to put adequate measures in place to prevent them from coming into contact with the cable. Construction worker Ioan Boboc, 22, from north-west London, suffered burns over 60% of his body while he and other workers were using breakers and a shovel within the excavation at the corner of Charing Cross Road and Tottenham Court Road on December 2, 2008.
Mr Boboc died of his injuries on Christmas Day 2008. Birse Metro Limited, of Station Road, Redhill, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £167,000 and ordered to pay £43,000 in costs in the case, which was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the national regulator for workplace health and safety, which aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. After the hearing, HSE Inspector Lisa Chappell, said: "The dangers associated with live underground cables are well-known to those carrying out groundworks in the construction industry. “Clear guidance on avoiding contact with them is freely available to companies undertaking this work.”
Ms Chappell said: “This incident highlights the absolute necessity for such work to be properly planned and managed. “Operatives should be briefed on the presence of cables and a safe system of working should be robustly enforced.”
She said: “Mr Boboc’s family continues to grieve the loss of a son and brother following an incident that could have easily been prevented.” The latest figures show that 50 construction workers were killed while at work in Great Britain in 2010 to 2011, and there were nearly 3,000 major injuries. Information on construction site safety is available at www.hse.gov.uk/construction