British Solar Renewables fined for safety failures

British Solar Renewables Image copyright Google
Image caption British Solar Renewables, based in Somerset, runs projects across the country.

A solar power company has been fined £250,000 after a worker suffered life-changing injuries when he received an electric shock from a high-power cable.

Ashley Coe was working on a new solar plant for British Solar Renewables in Devon when a digger operating beneath the overhead cable caused the accident.

He suffered a serious brain injury and two other workers were also hurt, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Sub contractor Pascon was fined £35,000 for failing to manage the work safely.

Mr Coe was working for Walsall-based Pascon when the incident happened in March 2013 at Knockworthy Farm near Huntshaw.

The digger which struck the 33,000 volt cables was reversing while laying a cable in a trench and Mr Coe was helping to control the drum when he suffered the shock.

Mobility problems

British Solar Renewables, of Butleigh, Somerset, admitted breaching the construction, design and management regulations by failing to ensure the safety of power cables.

Pascon admitted failing to plan, manage and monitor construction work adequately.

The court was told Mr Coe was left with mobility problems which prevented him from working again. Fellow workers Malcolm Stewart and Andrew Capper suffered less serious injuries.

Simon Morgan, prosecuting, said the cables should have been protected by fencing, goal posts, and bunting to prevent vehicles operating beneath them and a banksman should have been used to ensure safe movement of plant.

BSR were fined £250,000 with £72,000 costs and Pascon were fined £35,000 with £25,000 costs.

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