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Firm fined £80,000 after electrocuted worker loses hands and feet

A Swindon-based scaffolders has been fined £80,000 after one of its workers lost both hands and feet after being electocuted on site.

Swindon Magistrates Court fined Boundary Scaffolding Ltd £80,000 and ordered it to pay costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)

The court heard how Jamie Mines, a 32-year-old father of five, was erecting scaffolding for Boundary Scaffolding when part of the structure came into contact with a 33 kV overhead power line.

Mr Mines suffered horrific injuries, which led to the amputation of his left arm above the elbow, his right arm below the elbow and both feet. He also suffered severe burns to his legs and back and damage to his vocal cords.

The incident left him in a medically induced coma for six weeks.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found that the scaffolding should not have been built to that height and that the company had failed to plan a safe way of working.

Company director Jonathon Lee Griffiths-Clark, of 12 Grosmont Drive, Swindon, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2(1) and Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974).

He was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £1,545.30.

Mr Mines explained how his life had been changed by the incident.

“I can’t quite put into words how it feels to wake up with no hands,” he said.

“I had five-month-old twin girls at the time of the accident, all I could think of when I woke up was the things I wouldn’t be able to do.

“For example I wouldn’t be able to hold my babies’ hands again, I wouldn’t be able to draw, play catch or teach my girls any of the things that I had learned with my hands.”

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ian Whittles said: “This incident could have been prevented had the company and its director properly planned a safe system of work and ensured the scaffolding was erected in line with HSE regulations.”

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