Scaffolding company fined after crane operator hits cable and dies

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A company has been fined after a worker was fatally electrocuted whilst operating a lorry mounted crane the incident occurred when the operator hit a power line when unloading materials from the lorry and crane he was operating.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how on 17 May 2016, ASL Access Scaffold Limited employee Martin Tilby was fatally electrocuted when the crane he was operating struck an overhead powerline whilst he was unloading materials in a field at Cowbridge, South Glamorgan.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no risk assessment had been carried out in the field where the incident happened, and no control measures were put in place to prevent contact with the overhead powerlines.

ASL Access Scaffold Limited of Bridgend Industrial Estate, Bridgend was found guilty of breaching Sections 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and LOLER Regulation 8 (1). The company was fined £160,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Damian Corbett said: “This death was easily preventable, and the risk should have been identified.  Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from striking overhead powerlines. This death would have been preventable had an effective system for managing unloading materials been in place.”