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Firm fined after live electrical cable is attached to scaffolding

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A SCAFFOLDING firm has been ordered to pay £45,000 in fines and legal costs after putting workers at risk of electrocution and burns from an exposed electrical cable.

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Jubilee Scaffolding Company was contracted to erect scaffolding at Westcôte on Mont Félard in St Lawrence in August 2018.

But shortly after the frame was put up, the property owner raised concerns that an uninsulated mains electrical cable, which was secured to the scaffolding using a steel clamp, was putting workers at risk.

The Health and Safety Inspectorate were contacted and investigated the matter, calling in the company’s directors for interview in December, the Royal Court heard.

The employee responsible for putting up the scaffolding claimed that workers had believed the wire was a telephone cable not an electrical cable.

Outlining his case, Crown Advocate Conrad Yates said that there had been a ‘serious risk’ of electric shock, burns or electrocution to workers from the exposed wire, while work was being carried out. He called for the company to be fined £40,000 for breaching health and safety laws.

The company. which pleaded guilty to the breaches, was represented by its managing director and owner Sarah Waye in court.

She said that she had done ‘everything in her power’ to improve safety standards since last summer.

She added: ‘I can’t believe that anybody did not see the cable. I’m dumbfounded.’

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Ms Waye said that she understood why the Crown wanted to ‘send a message’ by imposing a fine for the law breach.

During sentencing, Lieutenant-Bailiff Anthony Olsen said: ‘It’s the court’s conclusion that the crown was correct and the fine should be £40,000.’

He added that the company would be allowed four months to pay the fine and would also be charged a further £5,000 to cover the prosecution’s legal costs. Jurats Jane Ronge and Gareth Hughes were sitting.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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