AN ENGINEERING firm was ordered to pay £85,000 after one of its workers was left with life-threatening 60 per cent burns when he drilled into a high voltage cable.

The 63-year-old was part of a team working on a series of ground investigations for the multi-billion pound Crossrail project connecting Maidenhead, Shenfield and Abbey Wood to London when he was injured.

Wallingford-based Fugro Engineering Services Ltd was fined £55,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 in costs after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act in the accident, which happened on February 7, 2008.

The Hithercroft Road company, prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), was sentenced on Monday at the Central Criminal Court in London.

An HSE investigation criticised training and communication at the site.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Lisa Chappell said: “Had Fugro Engineering Services provided the correct training, supervision and a safe system of work, proportionate to the level of risk involved, this serious incident could have been avoided.”

No one from Fugro was available for comment last night.