Fine after haulage contractor killed by power line

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The partners of a Suffolk-based farm have been sentenced after a haulage contractor was killed by an overhead power line strike.

Christopher Wilson, a haulage driver, was killed when his tipping trailer was raised and made contact with overhead power lines that ran across part of the yard hard standing at the Airfield Grain store, Parham near Framlingham, Suffolk, in 2016.

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

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that F S Watts and 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).

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 were fined £9,500 each 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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