NEWS: Waste firm failed to warn electrocuted contractor cable was live

A North East waste management and recycling company that failed to plan and manage the work of its contractors has been fined £900,000 after a worker was electrocuted.

Green North East Trading Bidco Limited, trading as Impetus Waste Management, was sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court for ‘easily avoidable’ failures in connection with the incident.

The Court heard how, on 20 March 2016, the contractor had been removing an item of industrial equipment at the company’s site in Davy Bank, Wallsend having been told it was safe to do so.
 
Believing the equipment to be electrically isolated, he cut through an electricity supply cable which powered a fan.
 
But the cable was live and he suffered an electric shock when he cut through it, resulting in hospital treatment.

Green North East Trading Bidco Limited, now in administration, of Cowpen Bewley, Billingham, Cleveland, was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company, previously one of the largest industrial waste processors in the North East, was fined £900,000 plus £5,390 costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Shuna Rank said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided if the work had been properly planned, the risks identified and steps taken to ensure that all equipment was electrically safe before the contractors started work at the site. Fortunately, in this case, the injured person has made a full recovery, however the outcome could have been fatal.’’