A farm has been fined £60,000 following the death of a man who was electrocuted by an overhead power line. The driver was delivering stone that was going to be used to repair farm tracks when the hydraulic arm of the tipper lorry came into contact with an 11kV overhead power line. He was electrocuted after exiting the lorry.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) the farm failed to carry out an assessment of how the work could be completed safely and did not consider the dangers involved with working near an overhead power line.
Overhead power lines typically carry electricity at voltages similar to the 11 kV in this case but can go up to 400 kV. The HSE has said they are ‘concerned’ about the nationwide trend of farm machinery getting bigger, increasing the risk of contact with power lines. The Farm was found guilty of breaching Regulations 3(1) and 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. The company was fined £60,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,715.
HSE Inspector said: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident – another sad reminder of the dangers of overhead powerlines. The death could easily have been prevented if the farm had acted to manage the risks involved and put in place a safe system of work.”