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Apprentice burned by blowing power line

A stonemasonry company in Perth, Scotland has been fined after its apprentice received an electric shock from an overhead power line.

Rodd McFarlane, 20, was carrying out repairs at Waulkmill Cottage in Perth and erected a tower scaffold for repointing work. 
 
On 2 August 2012, McFarlane was on the scaffold when a gust of wind blew one of the 240v electricity power lines supplying the cottage. It brushed against his back and he instinctively turned and grabbed the live wire.
 
The current made him unable to let go for a few seconds. He sustained burns to both hands, requiring graft surgery and a possible future amputation of one of his little fingers. 
 
The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) investigation found there was no safe system of work in place.
 
At Perth Sheriff Court, T&M Stonemasonry pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £16,000. 

Keeley Downey is assistant editor of IOSH Magazine

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