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Haulier hit with £150,000 fine after tipper truck overhead power line fatality

On 31 December 2021, 25-year-old Grant Borton was working for family-run haulage and storage business Andrew Black Ltd at its premises in East Lothian when the raised body of his tipper truck came into contact with overhead power lines. Grant was fatally electrocuted.

Grant was relatively new to Andrew Black Ltd and had been with the company for about six weeks,' the HSE inspector said.

On this particular day, he had been out doing deliveries. He came back and decided he wanted to get his vehicle prepared for the following week and took it down to the wash bay on Andrew Black’s premises. After the vehicle was washed, he drove it out the other side of the wash bay and lifted the tipper unit - it is thought to drain the excess water from the trailer. The tipper unit made contact with an 11kV overhead power line located above the exit to the wash bay, resulting in Grant being electrocuted.

"It was evident quite quickly that there were no controls in place to either prevent contact with this overhead power line or to mitigate the risk of contact," the investigating inspector said.

Ultimately it is incumbent on the duty holder – the employer – to know where their overhead power lines are, the height of those lines, and they are safely managing any work in the vicinity of the lines.

On 4 July 2023 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Andrew Black Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations and was fined £150,000.

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