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Fugro fined following Crossrail cable strike

Geotechnical firm Fugro has been fined £55,000 after one of its employees suffered life-threatening burns in a cable strike during ground investigations for Crossrail.

Crossrail appointed Fugro as principal contractor to deliver a series of ground investigations in 2008. During these ground investigations a Fugro employee was using a hydraulic break to create an inspection pit for a borehole outside 1 Hanover Street, London, where he struck a high voltage cable. The employee, 63 at the time, suffered 60% burns.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that effective lines of communication were not established and safe digging techniques was not provided to operatives.

Furthermore, key safety documentation showing the location of the cable was not kept at the borehole location.

“It is completely foreseeable that electric cables would be present in a busy London street, and there is well-established guidance and training to ensure digging is carried out safely,” said HSE inspector Lisa Chappell. “Had Fugro provided the correct training, supervision and a safe system of work, proportionate to the level of risk involved, then this serious incident could have been avoided.”

Fugro was fined £55,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £30,000.

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