May 18, 2018

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In Court

Driver killed by overhead power line strike

The partners of a Suffolk based farm have been sentenced after a haulage contractor was electrocuted to death when his vehicle struck an overhead power line.

On 30 August 2016, Mr Christopher Wilson was killed when his tipping trailer was raised and made contact with overhead power lines that ran across part of the yard at the Airfield Grain store, in Parham near Framlingham, Suffolk.

The site was managed by Nicholas and Roger Watts, partners of F S Watts & Sons. Mr Wilson was electrocuted and died at the scene.

Investigating, the HSE found that F S Watts & Sons had failed to take suitable precautions for work near to the overhead electric power lines despite the recommendations given to them previously by NFU Mutual Risk Management Services (NFU RMS).

Mr Nicholas Watts and Mr Roger Watts each pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 3(1)(a) contrary to regulation 14, of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and each was fined £9,500 and ordered to pay costs of £4,700.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Saffron Turnell said: “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young father. This death could easily have been prevented if those in control of operations at the grain store had acted to identify and manage the risks involved and put a safe system of work in place.”

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Peter Rimmer
Peter Rimmer
6 years ago

Does the punishment fit the crime?
They should have watched “Napo in… shocking situations” and the third scene titled ‘Over and out’ –

Alan Plom
Alan Plom
6 years ago

Have the Sentencing Guidelines not reached Suffolk yet? £9,500 each for causing a death, having ignored advice and guidance on avoiding contact with overhead power lines ? Frankly, I am shocked !

6 years ago

hi, how are you? overhead electrical lines are dangers that true but we can avoid this kind of hazards in our workplace by implementing safety precautions as create safe working distance, physical barriers, provide instructions, training to the staff associated with the hazards and how to deal in case of emergency.