Worker burned after cutting a live cable at Finsbury construction site

A worker was set on fire after an electrical explosion on a Finsbury building site

The 35-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, cut a live main supply cable on a construction site in Leonard Street on April 30.

He suffered 35 per cent burns from the blast.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found senior staff from his employer Pineview Interiors Limited failed to properly check whether the cable was live.

The company fined �10,000 and ordered to pay �4,183 in costs after it pleaded guility to breaching the Health and Safety Act at City of London Magistrates Court on Friday.

The man was employed on a site where three buildings were to be refurbished into apartments.


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The court heard on the day he approached his supervisor because a 415 volt cable had to be removed so plaster board could be installed.

He was not told it was active.

The worker recalled hitting the cable with a hammer and then waking up to find a colleague putting out the flames from his body.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE Inspector Dominic Elliss said: “Refurbishment works continue to contribute a high proportion of the serious and fatal injuries reported within the construction industry.

“The company allowed these operatives to attempt to remove the live electrical system with nothing but the most cursory attempt at seeking confirmation that the system was in fact dead.

“As a direct result of the defendant’s failure to identify or control the risk of short circuit their employee suffered extensive burn injuries from the resulting explosion.”

Pineview Interiors Limted, based in Rainham, Havering, have so far declined to comment on the case.