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Norfolk chemical site fined after contractor suffered electrical burns

Date:
29 June 2015

Chemical site operator, Bayer Crop Science Limited and an on-site electrical contractor Holmes E & M Services Ltd have been fined after an employee suffered electrical burns.

Norwich Crown Court heard that on 30 July 2012, Stephen Moore, a 29-year-old employee of Holmes E & M Services was working at the site to install a power monitoring module.

A decision was made to drill in to the rear of the control centre he was working in and this caused an electrical flashover which burnt a hole in the cubicle back-plate, and causing burns to Stephen’s hands, arms and face.

Bayer Crop operated a top tier COMAH (Control or Major Accident Hazards Regulations) electrical plant that has additional duties placed on them that are aimed at controlling risks associated with major hazards.

Both companies failed to provide suitable risk assessments or suitable control measures. Adequate supervision and a safe system of work could have prevented this incident from happening.

On Monday 29 June 2015 Bayer Crop Science Limited and Holmes E & M Services Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £25,000 each and both were ordered to pay £11,407 in costs.

Notes to Editors:  

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. hse.gov.uk
  2. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk  
  4. More information about maintaining machinery safely can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/safemaintenance/heavy-items.htm

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