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Company Fined After Workers Injured in Fireball Accident

RVB Investments UK Ltd has been fined after two employees were injured in a fire accident.


RVB Investments UK Ltd has been fined after two employees were injured in a fire accident. The two men, Eamonn Osborne, 53, and David Rawlins, 46, cut through a 1,000 volt electrical cable whilst trying to identify a water leak at an industrial unit in Telford.

An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that the firm and its owner had not assessed the risks involved in the operation, which involved extensive digging with an electrical drill.

It was heard that RVB Investments had failed to produce a safe system of work and had not obtained plans of the site, checked whether there were any electrical cables underground or used safe digging methods.  It was also exposed that the two workers had not been taught about the potential dangers of their work.

The firm and its owner, Clifford Leigh, faced prosecution at Telford Magistrates’ Court where it was ruled that Mr Leigh had not honoured his responsibility to consider the safety of his employees. No adequate precautions were taken before the work began and no satisfactory guidance on digging near underground services was issued.

On the 8th of December 2011, RVB Investments UK Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £4,420 costs. Mr Clifford Leigh was also prosecuted and fined £2,000 with £1,000 of costs. 

Commenting after the hearing, HSE inspector Nic Rigby said:

“All employees, such as Clifford Leigh, have a responsibility to ensure that they take reasonable care for the safety of their fellow employees when making decisions about how work should be carried out. RVB Investments UK Ltd and Clifford Leigh failed to do this and as a result two men were seriously injured in an avoidable incident that could easily have been fatal.”

Speaking of the outcome, Helen Grieves, founder and principal at Grieves Solicitors, said:

“It is always difficult to hear about accidents of this nature, especially when they could have been so easily avoid. As personal injury solicitors, Grieves helps recover compensation for those that have suffered due to the negligence of their employer.”

“It is vital that businesses take responsibility for the safety of their employees by ensuring that effective health and safety have been implemented.”

Based in Huddersfield, Grieves Solicitors specialise in work accident compensation claims. Helen Grieves is a qualified solicitor with an Advanced Professional Diploma in Personal Injury Litigation from Leeds Metropolitan University and a Master Degree in Advanced Litigation from Nottingham Trent University. For more information, visit their website:


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