Failure to use a cable locator
An underground 415 Volt electrical supply was damaged during excavation
work to provide new sewage drains during office renovation work. A labourer
received burns to his torso & arm. The company contacted the local
electricity distributor who advised that a locator should be used if
digging in the archway. None was used.
The company was prosecuted under The Construction (Health, Safety and
Welfare) Regulation 1996 (No 12) paragraph 8 and fined.
- The company should have asked for plans of the electrical services
in the area where excavation work was going to be carried out.
- It should have used the plans in conjunction with a cable locator
to identify the likely position of underground services.
- It should have directed that trial holes be dug to identify the
exact positions of services.
The downloadable HSE booklet Avoiding
danger from underground services gives guidance on how to work near