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Scunthorpe firm in court after worker scarred for life

A construction company has been prosecuted for safety failings after a young worker was left permanently scarred when he struck an underground cable during digging work.

Richard Baisley, 26, of Scunthorpe, received severe burns to his hands, arms, face and chest when he drilled through concrete and pierced a 415 volt cable. The location of the cable was not established by the company before the digging work started.

Scunthorpe Magistrates' Court heard Mr Baisley and a fellow employee had been instructed by a director of Kim Barker Construction Ltd to dig two holes outside their site entrance so they could erect a new company sign. The sign needed two large holes for the steel posts.

Part-way through the job, the two workers hired a drill to break through some concrete and took it in turns to use it. During Mr Baisley's turn, the concrete gave way and he pierced the cable, resulting in an electrical explosion.

Mr Baisley, of Burringham, Scunthorpe, was in hospital for three days for treatment to his burns. He is unable to return to his original career as a welder because of the affects of heat on his skin and for some six months after the incident in October 2009 he was unable to ride his motorcycle or play sport.

Kim Barker Construction Ltd, of Flixborough Industrial Estate in Scunthorpe, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 after an investigation was mounted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They were fined £13,000 and ordered to pay £2,039.10 in costs.

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