Trainee scaffolder died when scaffold tube came into contact with overhead line

A trainee scaffolder received a fatal electric shock whilst handling a 6.4 metre long scaffold tube that came into contact with an 11,000 Volt overhead power line. No site specific risk assessment had been done, only generic ones at the office.


The company employing the worker was prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act Section 2(1), and fined.


  • The company should have closely supervised the trainee until he was able to demonstrate competence in a wide range of work situations.
  • The company should have undertaken a risk assessment for that site and told all workers of the results of the risk assessment.
  • Action should have been taken to reduce the risks from contact with overhead power lines. This could have included requesting that the electricity distributor made the overhead power line dead during the work.

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Updated 2023-01-09