Natures Way Foods to pay £205k after worker is electrocuted
A fresh produce manufacturing company has been fined £170,000 following the fatality of a 21-year-old sub-contractor, who died after coming into contact with a live 240V electrical cable.
Chichester Crown Court was told that Bradley Watts was lagging pipes in the loft space of Natures Way Foods’ premises in Chichester, on 2 June 2011. He came into contact with a 240V live electrical cable and was electrocuted. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the ambulance crew.
The live cable was part of an old system that had been removed by Natures Way Foods in 2008, but was not identified in any way, and its existence and ‘live’ nature was unknown to Natures Way Foods.
An investigation by HSE concluded that the company had plenty of opportunity to deal with redundant cables but it was always assumed they were not live. Had the old cabling been removed in a systematic and controlled manner, or subsequent checks of the loft space identified the examples of poor practice, the death of Bradley Watts could have been avoided.
Natures Way Foods, of Selsey, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £170,000 and must pay costs of £35,403.
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