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Great Barr company fined after workers burned in explosion

By Dayna Farrington | Great Barr | News | Published:

A company has been fined £20k after two workers suffered serious burns while carrying out repair work.

Unique Envelope Facade Solutions Limited was fined more than £20,000

Great Barr-based Unique Envelope Facade Solution Limited admitted health and safety failings during a court hearing.

The Health and Safety Executive say there was an explosion after which workers were left "unable to work for a long time".

The self-employed workers received burns to their hands in the incident while working at AVL Powertrain, in Viggen Way, Coventry.

They were using a drill to attach a pre-fabricated cover - or cowling - to a cable tray, which is a system used to securely fasten or support cables and raceways.

Coventry Magistrates' Court heard the incident, which happened on November 28, 2018, occurred when one of the fixings went into a live cable and causing an explosion.

An investigation the Great Barr firm's risk assessments and method statements did not consider the risk of drilling into cable trays containing live cables, isolating the electrics to complete work, or other methods of fixing which did not involve drilling.

Unique Envelope Facade Solutions Limited, of Winster Grove Industrial Estate, off Shady Lane, Queslett, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

The company was fined £20,160 and ordered to pay costs of £1,178, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.

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Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Gareth Langston said: "This incident demonstrated the importance of the role of those preparing the job.

"The company overlooked the 415V 3 phase cabling they were drilling in towards.

"A cable strike, even at this voltage, can cause a major explosion.

"This incident has left two men with long-lasting burn injuries and they are now unable to work for a long time."

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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