December 14, 2017

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In court

£85k fine after worker is electrocuted

A North West farmer has been fined after a man was electrocuted when the arm of a loader crane (HIAB) hit overhead power lines.

Liverpool Crown Court was told that Edward Evans and his friend had been collecting scrap metal from the farm by prior arrangement when the incident took place.

Investigating the incident, which occurred on 17 January 2015, the Health and Safety Executive found that the scrap metal had been left under live 11kz overhead power lines (OHPLs).


Edward Evans and his friend had driven the HIAB over to where the scrap was, parked up under the OHPLs, and exited the vehicle. Whilst operating the crane to pick up and move the scrap metal into the back of the HIAB, the grab touched the OHPLs and got tangled in them. Edward Evans was electrocuted and died. His friend also received an electric shock whilst trying to rescue him.

JH Willis & Sons of Marsh Lane, Cheshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined £85,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,823.50.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Jane Carroll said: “This tragic incident could easily have been prevented if the farm partnership had acted to identify and manage the risks involved with overhead power lines on their land, and to put a safe system of work in place.

“The dangers associated with OHPL are well known and a wealth of advice and guidance is freely available from HSE and other energy suppliers. Duty holders must make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from overhead power lines”

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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