Kier Fined £4.4m for Power Cable Safety Breaches

An engineering firm has been fined more than £4m after workers accidentally damaged overhead power lines.

Workers from Manchester based engineering firm, Kier, brought down an overhead cable which hit a lorry.

Footage also showed a cable had nearly hit someone after it fell on part of the motorway in Cheshire.

The firm put workers and drivers in “significant danger” The Health and Safety executive found.

During the first incident, in March 2018, three Kier workers accidentally struck and severed a highly powerful overhead power line which landed on the M6 and in a nearby field.

Footage showed a worker running away and narrowly avoiding being hit.

Kier failed to immediately tell Scottish Power, meaning the cable was re-energised a number of times whilst on the motorway.

During the second incident, in January 2019, a Kier tractor struck an overhead cable which led to an unmarked power line being hit and snapped by an oncoming lorry.

Both incidents took place during overnight roadworks between junctions 16 and 18 of the M6 near Sandbach in Cheshire.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found inadequate planning from Kier meant the vehicle used in the first incident was unsuitable, despite other more suitable vehicles being available.

There was also no task-specific risk assessment available for the workers, the HSE found.

In the second incident, the workers were unaware of the overhead hazards.

The company was fined £4.4 million and ordered to pay costs of £80,759 at Manchester Crown Court on Thursday.

HSE inspector, Mike Lisle said: “This is a significant fine reflecting the seriousness of the failures here.”

“The company’s failure to plan the work properly and provide an adequate risk assessment put its workers and those using the motorway in significant danger.”