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Farmer fined for accidental electrocution of delivery driver

19 January 2015

A landowner was fined £20,000 by a court after the Health & Safety Executive investigated circumstances leading to a delivery driver's death.

A self-employed HGV driver was delivering cattle feed to the farm in Sutton Mandeville in 2012. Whilst raising the tipper body of his articulated lorry, the driver hit the 11kV overhead power line which crossed the farmyard.  The driver was electrocuted and died at the scene.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the landowner had made no attempt to remove or reduce the serious risk associated with the power line crossing the yard, by diverting the cable or providing signs or barriers to warn visitors of its existence – despite its proximity to the cattle feed offloading point.

The landowner was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,609 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Guidance on working near overhead power cables can be found on the HSE website here

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Jonathan Attey

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