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£400k fine after operator killed by power line strike

12 Mar A civil engineering contractor has been fined £400,000 after a loader crane operator was killed by an overhead power line strike.

The grab crane touched an 11kv overhead power line, killing the operator
The grab crane touched an 11kv overhead power line, killing the operator

Luton Crown Court heard how, on 16th September 2016, Darren Waterman, a driver employed by muckaway firm Just Grab Services to unload material at Fillets Farm, Hunsdon, Hertforshire, was using the crane when the boom made contact with an 11kv overhead power line and he was killed.

The site was managed by utilities contractor Options Energy Resource LLP.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Options Energy Resource had identified the risk from overhead power lines in its risk assessments but had failed to implement them and adequately plan construction work and to train its employees.

Options Energy Resource LLP of Hanbury Drive, Leystonstone, London pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974. It was fined £400,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £17,242.33.

HSE inspector Samantha Wells said after the hearing: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of Options Energy Resource LLP to implement safe systems of work and to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.

“Every year in the UK, two people are killed and many more are injured when machinery comes into contact with, or close proximity to, overhead power lines.”


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