Utility Companies Fined For Unsafe Working Practices

Electric saw is left lying in the street outside primary school

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Thames Water fined for unsafe working practices


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A utility company that left dangerous power tools unguarded just yards from a primary school entrance has been fined thousands of pounds.

National Grid Gas plc has been ordered to pay a fine of £1,000 and costs of £1,036 after pleading guilty to unsafe working practices last October.

When a Council inspector visited the works outside St Mary’s Primary School on Masbro Road, he found contractors for National Grid Gas using an electric saw outside the school gates. The work site did not have adequate guarding surrounding it and unattended tools and equipment were left lying on the road and pavement, causing a hazard to pedestrians.

Councillor Nicholas Botterill, deputy leader of H&F Council and cabinet member for environment, said: “Parents will be flabbergasted that a company that is supposed to act responsibility could leave a chainsaw in the middle of the road, unguarded, while children were playing just yards away. We cannot turn a blind eye to such flagrant breaches of safety regulations.”

Thames Water was also prosecuted after it admitted endangering the borough’s residents outside Hammersmith Hospital in November last year.

During excavation work in Du Cane Road, workers closed off the pavement but provided no safe alternative route for pedestrians, who were forced to walk into the busy road into oncoming traffic.

Thames Water also tunnelled under a cycle lane that was still being used, which could have led to its collapse under the weight of traffic. The company then failed to tell the council when it had completed the works.

Thames Water has to pay two separate fines of £1,000 and £300 and costs of £3,812 after appearing at West London Magistrates Court on October 8.


21 October 2008