On 30 September 2019 an employee of Connop and Son Limited was working on Worton Grounds Farm, Banbury, Oxon when the floating arm of a mobile concrete pump came into contact with an overhead powerline.
The employee received an 11,000-volt shock which caused him to lose consciousness. His colleagues had to perform CPR to resuscitate him at the scene. The man was later taken to Oxford Hospital where he was in a coma for six days and hospitalised for 10 days.
An HSE investigation found that Connop and Son Limited fell far below the expected standard and failed to implement its own control measures documented within its risk assessment.
The investigation also found that Alexander Maddan, a sole trader, failed to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase and failed to ensure reasonably practicable control measures were in place. Additionally, Shaun Walker, a concrete pump operator, failed to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and others who were affected by his acts or omissions.
Connop and Son Limited, of Leominster pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations and was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5425 plus a victim surcharge of £181 at Oxford Magistrates’ Court.
Maddan, of Deddington Oxon also pleaded guilty and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £525 plus a victim surcharge of £181.
Walker, of Wolverhampton also pleaded guilty and was handed a 12-month community order with a requirement to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £2,000 plus a victim surcharge of £90.
Following the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Hull commented: “Connop and Son Limited, Alexander Maddan and Shaun Walker could have ensured that the mobile concrete pump lorry was positioned outside an exclusion zone to prevent contact with the overhead powerline.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”