An electrical worker has died after falling 6 metres from a ladder.
The man, who was an experienced linesman, was working for Electricity North West Ltd when the incident happened. The company has now been fined £900,000.
Cut through his safety strap
In November 2013, John Flowers, 63, used a ladder to help remove ivy away from a power line. While it’s unclear what actually happened, it has been suggested he cut through his work positioning strap and fell to his death.
The issue was that trimming the ivy was not considered to be ‘short duration work’. It’s only on short duration work that using a ladder would be suitable, Preston Crown Court heard.
It was judged that the company had not properly planned the work and that no provision had been made for the use of a mobile elevated work platform to undertake the task, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found.
No information given to workers
The ivy had been identified as an issue 5 years earlier, but a survey of the clearance work needed was only undertaken six weeks prior to the incident. But none of this information was given to any of the linesmen. They were also not given any information on how the work should be carried out.
Electricity North West Limited was found guilty of breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £900,000 with costs to be agreed at a later date.
HSE Inspector Rose Leese-Weller said : “Electricity North West failed to ensure that working at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner that was safe. Had these steps been taken we may not have had this tragic outcome.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: April 14, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown