Head Of Training, SHP Online

June 22, 2016

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Stonemason apprentice “grabbed power line”, court hears

A stonemasonry company in Perth has been fined after an apprentice stonemason was seriously injured from contact with an overhead power line.

Perth Sheriff Court heard how 20-year-old apprentice Rodd McFarlane was working for T&M Stonemasonry, carrying out repairs at Waulkmill Cottage in Perth.

During this work, McFarlane erected a tower scaffold to carry out some re-pointing work.

While on the scaffold he came into contact with overhead 240volt electricity power lines that were supplying the cottage. The wind caused the power line to brush against his back causing him to turn around instinctively and grab the live wire. The flow of the current meant he was unable to let go for a few seconds until he jumped down from the board on the tower scaffold. His weight broke the wire and interrupted the flow of current.

He received an electric shock and suffered burns to both hands requiring graft surgery and a possible future amputation of a little finger.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred on 2 August 2012, found that the stone masonry company should have developed a safe system of work.

T&M Stonemasonry, of Highfield Road, Scone, Perth, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £16,000.

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