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Norfolk chemical site fined after contractor suffers electrical burns

Chemical site operator Bayer Crop Science and on-site electrical contractor Holmes E & M Services have been fined after an employee suffered electrical burns.

Norwich Crown Court heard that on 30 July 2012, Stephen Moore, a 29-year-old employee of Holmes E & M Services, was working at the site to install a power monitoring module.

A decision was made to drill into the rear of the control centre he was working in and this caused an electrical flashover, which burnt a hole in the cubicle back-plate and caused burns to Mr Moore’s hands, arms and face.

Bayer Crop operated a top tier COMAH (Control or Major Accident Hazards Regulations) electrical plant that has additional duties placed on it aimed at controlling risks associated with major hazards.

Both companies failed to provide suitable risk assessments or control measures. Adequate supervision and a safe system of work could have prevented the incident.

On Monday 29 June 2015, Bayer Crop Science and Holmes E & M Services pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £25,000 each, and both were ordered to pay £11,407 in costs.

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