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SIAC Construction Ltd fined after Trevor Maloney left hospitalised
A construction company has been fined £20,000 after an accident left an employee from Tottenham hospitalised for four days.
Trevor Maloney suffered burns to both hands and his face when he was caught in an explosion after striking a concealed electricity cable on April 24, 2012.
The 32-year-old was working for Dublin-based SIAC Construction Ltd on a project to renovate public areas around Leicester Square, in central London.
He was hospitalised for four days but has since made a full recovery.
The construction company was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for placing Mr Maloney in danger.
The firm had been contracted by Westminster City Council to redevelop Leicester Square, which required substantial excavation and ground work to resurface the main terraces and side roads.
Due to the large number of underground rail services in the area the authority told the company that any shallow cables or pipework should be protected by sand and steel plating.
However, during the excavation of old paving outside the Hippodrome casino in Cranbourn Street, the protective measure could not be used because of a shallow electricity cable.
A work-around was agreed between the company and the council, but when the new paving was completed in January 2012 it was unclear whether it had been done.
In March 2012, part of the newly installed paving had to be dug up for underground repair work unconnected to the renovation project.
SIAC was not involved in this work but was later asked to reinstate the paving.
Mr Maloney was one of two workers tasked with removing old mortar so that the slabs could be re-laid.
But just a few minutes after starting the work he struck the shallow cable, which short-circuited and created an explosion and flames.
HSE found that the cable was partially above the concrete foundation and concealed within the mortar, unprotected by any steel plating.
On September 23, Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that if it had been adequately protected, or its location properly known by the ground workers, then the incident could have been avoided.
The construction company was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £5,002 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the 2007 construction regulations.
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