Health and Safety Executive warns construction firms to clean up act after court fines CFR Group £133,000 over electrocution death on building site

Employers have been warned by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that they must ensure the safety of all staff after a construction company was ordered to pay a total of £133,000 in fines and costs by the Central Criminal Court in London.

The prosecution followed an HSE investigation into the fatal elecrocution of an employee of CFR Group at a construction site in High Holborn, London.

Philip Martyn was electrocuted while wiring a water-unit as another employee in a power switch-room turned on the electricity. There were no systems for locking off the power, only tape, to indicate which circuit could be switched on or off.

There was an indication too, the court said, that the contractors on site were working excessive hours to get the job finished, which may have resulted in poor decision-making.

Anne Gloor, HSE inspector said: “The judgment goes to show that companies should ensure that all staff are safe at work, and that there should be good arrangements for locking off all power supply systems.”

The HSE investigation found that CFR Group should have carried out a risk assessment for the work and should have ensured that adequate signage was used to indicate which power circuit could be turned on, and other circuits should have been padlocked.

CFR Group had pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and for failing to comply with Working Time Regulations.

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