Farmer fined after electrocution

A farmer has been fined after a driver was killed when his HGV hit an 11kV power line.

Self-employed Nigel Fox tragically died at the scene following the incident, which took place at Chestnut Tree Farm in Sutton Mandeville, Wiltshire, on 2 November 2012.

The farm’s owner, Tony Slade, appeared in Salisbury Magistrates’ Court charged with breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Accident at work

The court heard how Mr Fox, 63, of Northamptonshire, was delivering cattle feed to the farm when the accident at work happened.

He raised the tipper body of his articulated lorry to fill a silo but then hit the overhead power line, which crossed from one side of the farmyard to the other.

He was electrocuted by the wire, which made contact with the tipper section of lorry and sent a surge of electricity through the vehicle.

He was only discovered some time later, when an electricity supply network engineer was sent out to find and fix a fault.

Safety investigation

Following the accident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found that Mr Slade had not attempted to remove or reduce the serious risk associated with the power line.

He could have diverted the cable so there was less risk of it being hit by anything, or he could have put up signs or barriers to warn visitors about it.

HSE inspector, Andy Shaw said all power lines are dangerous, but they pose a particular threat where they cross traffic routes or busy work areas.

Unable to work

Mr Fox leaves a wife, Sally, two children, Harriet and George, and a sister, Jackie.

His wife said his death had resulted in intense grief, adding that over two years later, the family is still struggling to come to terms with the death.

She said she has been so stressed and saddened by the accident that she has been unable to work and has now lost her career.

Tony Slade, of Sutton Mandeville, Salisbury, Wiltshire, was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,609 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

If you have received an electric shock injury due to faulty equipment, a lack of training or someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible to claim personal injury compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone for free, no obligation legal advice on making a claim.

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