Stone company fined £16,000 after apprentice hurt by touching power cable

A stonemasonry company in Perth has been fined £16,000 after an apprentice stonemason was seriously injured when he came into contact with an overhead power line.

Perth Sheriff Court heard on 14 June how 20-year-old apprentice Rodd McFarlane was working for T&M Stonemasonry, carrying out repairs at Waulkmill Cottage in Perth.

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

While on the scaffold he came into contact with overhead 240volt electricity lines that were supplying power to 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.

The incident occurred on 2 August 2012. An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the stone 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 & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.