A driver visiting a quarry and landfill site was fatally electrocuted when the grab on his lorry contacted an overhead powerline. The site was poorly laid out with inadequate signage and barriers.
The quarry owner/occupier/operator failed to cooperate with the investigation. Gathering the evidence to support the defended cases therefore presented major difficulties. Close working between the HSE, Customs and Excise, local planning authority, Environment Agency, County Council and solicitor agents was needed to identify the duty holders and make sure the legal proceedings moved forward successfully.
The Managing Director (MD) (who also traded as a separate entity) and his company were both found guilty under The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Sections 3(1) and 3(2). Fines of £80,000 for each offence were imposed.
There was significant publicity in local press, the quarries industry trade press and on TV/radio.
A large utilities company and two former employees were prosecuted for health and safety breaches. The company failed to ensure a transmission linesman was properly protected from live cables as they carried out routine tests. The power surge from the live cables put two persons at risk; one was killed as a result of electrocution and the other received electrical shocks and burns.
The company was fined £400,000. One former employee was admonished while the other was fined £1,600. The company has since tightened their safety procedures to minimise the possibility of this type of accident being repeated.