Dublin firm fined after workplace explosion

Dublin firm fined after workplace explosion 25637

The principal contractor for a large renovation project in Leicester Square has been fined after an explosion injured a member of staff.

Trevor Maloney, 32, from Tottenham, accidentally struck a concealed live electricity cable and this caused a spark to ignite in a way that made a fireball appear - sending the worker flying through the air.

Mr Maloney was admitted to hospital, where he stayed for four days. He was diagnosed with burn injuries to his hands and face, but has since made a full recovery.

After hearing about the 32-year-old's injuries, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and sent agents to establish the facts of what happened during the April 2012 incident.

Inspectors discovered Mr Maloney was not told of the presence of a cable as he was about to use an electric breaker to remove paving stone mortar as part of a redevelopment effort in central London.

Because of its poor communication with Mr Maloney, the HSE decided to take SIAC Construction - the man's employer - to trial.

Magistrates at a Westminster court were told local authorities let the Dublin-based outfit know of the presence of extensive cabling, but the 32-year-old was not told about this in advance of the paving work.

For its failings, SIAC Construction of Clondalkin, Dublin, was fined 20,000 and told to pay £5,002 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Commenting after the verdict had been handed down, HSE inspector Loraine Charles said: "This was a serious incident that could have ended in tragedy and Mr Maloney is very fortunate not to have been more seriously injured.

"It is essential that when any work that might disturb live underground services is being carried out, all practicable steps are taken to determine the location of those services,and to arrange the work so that the risk of damaging any service is minimised."