Mick George Ltd has been fined more than £500,000 after a tipper vehicle driven by one of its employees came into contact with overhead power lines during the construction of a waste transfer station.
The construction and waste management company was fined £566,670 by the Health and Safety Executive(HSE) and ordered to pay £9,000 in costs after the 2016 incident in Northampton.
According to a HSE statement , Northampton Crown Court heard last week (May 25) that the driver, who was not hurt in the incident, was emptying the final loads from his vehicle and pulled forward with the body of the vehicle. The vehicle then “touched, or came close to touching”, the 33KV overhead power lines (OPL).
The tipper vehicle working on the waste transfer station suffered minor damage but the driver was unhurt.
Mick George Ltd, according to the HSE, had already identified the need for Permanent Protection Structures (goalposts) but after an initial delay only one was installed.
An investigation by the health and safety body showed that Mick George Ltd should have assessed the risks from OPL’s more rigorously and realised its “system of work was inadequate to reduce the risk of tipper vehicles striking an OPL”.
The company pleaded guilty to a breach of the Construction Regulations and was subsequently fined.
HSE inspector Stuart Parry, speaking after the sentencing, said that it was “fortunate” that nobody was injured as a result of the breach.
“Every year in the UK, two people are killed and many more injured when mechanical plant and machinery comes into contact or close proximity to OPL’s,” he explained.
Mr Parry added: “A suitable and sufficient assessment would have identified the need to contact the Distribution Network Operator, Western Power, to request the OPL’s were diverted underground prior to the commencement of construction. If this was not reasonably practicable, Mick George Ltd should have erected goalposts either side of the OPL’s to warn drivers about the OPL’s.”
Mick George has been approached for comment.
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Source: letsrecycle.com General