A Perth based stone-masonry firm has been fined following an accident at work incident in which an apprentice stonemason suffered severe injuries from an overhead power line.
Accident at work incident
Rodd McFarlane, an apprentice for T&M Stonemasonry, was carrying out repairs at Waulkmill Cottage, Perth, at the time of the incident. Re-pointing work was required and so the 20 year old erected a tower scaffold.
Perth Sheriff Court heard that whilst Mr McFarlane was stood on the scaffold, he came into contact with the overhead power lines that supplied 240 volts, each, to the cottage.
The court heard how a gust of wind blew one power line towards Mr McFarlane, and when this brushed his back his instinctive reaction was to turn and grab another of the live wires. Due to the flow of current, the apprentice was unable to let go of the power line for a few seconds and he received an electric shock.
Mr McFarlane suffered serious burns to both hands. He required graft surgery and he may need amputation of his little finger in the future.
HSE Investigation & Sentencing
Following an investigation into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that the company had not developed a safe ‘system of work’.
After pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, T&M Stonemasonry, of Highfield Road, Scone, Perth was fined £16,000.
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Source: Health & Safety Executive