Investigation underway after live cables from damaged lamp-post give passerby an electric shock

Wirral Globe: Highgreen Road today Highgreen Road today

AN INVESTIGATION is underway after a Wirral woman received an electric shock from a broken lamp-post.

Wirral Council has asked its highways maintenance contractor Colas to conduct an inquiry after it had carried out work intended to make the column safe last Tuesday.

The authority is also asking the victim to contact them to help the investigation.

It is understood the lamp-post in Birkenhead had become damaged after being struck by a vehicle and Colas attended the scene to isolate the power supply and make the column safe.

But some time later a passerby, a local woman understood to be in her 50s,  came into contact with cables from the post  and received an electric shock.

She attended Arrowe Park Hospital for checks. 

A woman from a nearby shop who helped the victim after the incident said: "She came in here afterwards and had a burn on her hand. It was raining at the time and we were told the wire was sizzling by that point."

In a statement, Wirral Council said: “We were informed via a third-party that someone had been hurt as a result of apparently coming into contact with a live cable from a damaged lighting column on Highgreen Road, Birkenhead.

“We are extremely concerned about this and have asked our contractors, Colas, to conduct an investigation into the work they carried out on this lighting column.

“We have also asked our own health and safety team to look into the incident.

“It would assist us greatly if the person who was hurt could contact us and tell us directly what happened.”

A Colas spokesman said: “We have been made aware of the incident and an investigation is being carried out.

“The relevant authorities have been informed accordingly but we are unable to give any more details.”

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said he was unable to provide any further information as "the incident has not been reported."

Comments (8)

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4:34pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Cheesy Peas says...

More fine work from Colas.

Anyone fancy a game of golf?
More fine work from Colas. Anyone fancy a game of golf? Cheesy Peas

4:39pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Cheesy Peas says...

How much will it cost to fix this lamp post?

Colas didn't exactly get their lamp post repair fee correct when they were given the contract, as I recall.
How much will it cost to fix this lamp post? Colas didn't exactly get their lamp post repair fee correct when they were given the contract, as I recall. Cheesy Peas

5:03pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Positive thinker says...

Colas in for another bashing,hopefully there will be a full investergation,I can
smell a claim Christmas is coming
Colas in for another bashing,hopefully there will be a full investergation,I can smell a claim Christmas is coming Positive thinker

5:09pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Ilovewirral says...

Just how do you come into contact with cables from a lamp post?
Just how do you come into contact with cables from a lamp post? Ilovewirral

5:40pm Wed 10 Oct 12

Positive thinker says...

I was thinking exactly the same,lets
hope the councils legal department think the same when they recieve a letter of claim from where's there Blame there's a claim solicitor
I was thinking exactly the same,lets hope the councils legal department think the same when they recieve a letter of claim from where's there Blame there's a claim solicitor Positive thinker

9:29pm Wed 10 Oct 12

JimmyMercury says...

I assume the cables were in contact with the metal post of the lamp rather than sticking out?

As the person has not contacted the council then surely it is a bit naughty to assume this is someone looking to claim?

There have been instances in the past when dogs have been killed and as a grandparent, it always worries me when my grandchildren touch metal lamposts in case they are not safe.

Colas and the Council have a duty of care and if they muck up then I hope they do have to pay. I would rather the bosses lose their jobs though!
I assume the cables were in contact with the metal post of the lamp rather than sticking out? As the person has not contacted the council then surely it is a bit naughty to assume this is someone looking to claim? There have been instances in the past when dogs have been killed and as a grandparent, it always worries me when my grandchildren touch metal lamposts in case they are not safe. Colas and the Council have a duty of care and if they muck up then I hope they do have to pay. I would rather the bosses lose their jobs though! JimmyMercury

7:44am Thu 11 Oct 12

JohnON says...

This is what you get with the modern "jack of all trades" that most employers use these days under the guise of flexibility.

When I left school, I had to serve a 5-year apprenticeship with one day a week day release and one night a week night school.

At the end of that time, I became an electrician - and only an electrician.
This is what you get with the modern "jack of all trades" that most employers use these days under the guise of flexibility. When I left school, I had to serve a 5-year apprenticeship with one day a week day release and one night a week night school. At the end of that time, I became an electrician - and only an electrician. JohnON

3:35pm Thu 11 Oct 12

PaulCa says...

Before blaming anybody, whose cable feeds the column?

We can probably rule out Scottish Power (or whichever outfit took them over) as COLAS were called to isolate it, evidently identified it as a council cable and undertook the work.

Next problem. Why didn't they succeed in isolating it? Why didn't they make it safe and bury the damaged cable in the ground? Why was it left live and exposed?

If the council spokesman is correct, it wasn't a shock / burn from the column coming into contact with a buried, badly insulated repair job, but from the cable itself.

Next problem. Whoever did the 'work'; are they individually / corporately cleared and accredited for safely carrying out that work?

There have been rumblings about irresponsible sub-contracting. Was it a COLAS worker or was it a sub-contracted worker without the required qualifications, safety clearance and experience?
Before blaming anybody, whose cable feeds the column? We can probably rule out Scottish Power (or whichever outfit took them over) as COLAS were called to isolate it, evidently identified it as a council cable and undertook the work. Next problem. Why didn't they succeed in isolating it? Why didn't they make it safe and bury the damaged cable in the ground? Why was it left live and exposed? If the council spokesman is correct, it wasn't a shock / burn from the column coming into contact with a buried, badly insulated repair job, but from the cable itself. Next problem. Whoever did the 'work'; are they individually / corporately cleared and accredited for safely carrying out that work? There have been rumblings about irresponsible sub-contracting. Was it a COLAS worker or was it a sub-contracted worker without the required qualifications, safety clearance and experience? PaulCa

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