Power Company fined after workers death

Electricity North West Ltd has been fined £900,000 after a worker died from falling six metres while carrying out routine maintenance of power lines.

The accident occurred when the experienced linesman climbed a ladder resting against a wood pole in order to trim ivy away from the power lines, and somehow cut through his work positioning strap and fell to his death.

The Court heard that the time to undertake the work of trimming ivy off the pole was not identified as short duration work, therefore was not suitable to be undertaken whilst working from a ladder, and that a mobile elevated work platform should have been provided to undertake the task.

An investigation by The Health and Safety Executive found that the work had not been properly planned, as ivy growing onto the electricity conductors was first identified some five years before the accident and then again in June 2013. A survey of the vegetation clearance work which was required was undertaken six weeks prior to the incident, although no information was given to any of the linesman, and they were not provided with information on how the work was to be carried out.

The company was found guilty of breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, was fined £900,000 with costs to be agreed at a later date.

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