A London council has been fined £10,000 after an untrained worker suffered an electric shock from an 11,000-volt cable while installing a new bench in Romford.
The London Borough of Havering pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act over the incident, which left the man with flash burns.
The City of London Magistrates Court heard the man had been working for the council’s street care department and was using a hydraulic breaker to dig holes for a new bench when he struck a buried cable in the pavement.
Health and Safety Executive inspector John Crookes said the incident, which occurred in December 2007, “could have been fatal”.
In addition to the fine, the court ordered the local authority pay £9,810 in costs.