Civil engineering firm Kier has been fined more than £4 million after its staff twice struck overhead powerlines while working on the M6 motorway causing cables to land in the path of passing vehicles.
In one incident, an overhead cable the Kier workers brought down hit a lorry. The second time, a cable landed on the motorway.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found after one incident Kier workers failed to immediately tell the network provider Scottish Power what they had done.
HSE found that 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. In the second incident, the workers were unaware of the overhead hazards.
In relation to the first incident, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited, of Clippers Quay, Salford pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. In relation to the second incident, they pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
In total, the company was fined £4.415m and ordered to pay costs of £87,759.60 at Crown Court on 12 January 2023.
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