Scottish haulage firm Andrew Black has been fined £150,000 after one of iets HGV drivers was fatally electrocuted by overhead power lines.
The company, which operates out of North Berwick, pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to failing to ensure there were suitable controls in place for work carried out near dangerous power lines between 15 November 2021 and 5 January 2022.
The procurator fiscal told the court that the fatal incident happened at the company’s premises at Drem Airfield on 31 December 2021.
Driver Grant Borton, 25, was finishing for the day and was using the wash bay to clean his truck in preparation for his next shift.
After leaving the wash bay, he raised the tipper which made contact with the overhead power lines and the lorry driver was electrocuted and died.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that a failure to ensure suitable control measures were in place resulted in Borton being electrocuted.
The company had not undertaken a risk assessment in respect of the hazard of overhead power lines on site.
There were no suitable means to warn drivers exiting the wash bay of overhead power lines.
There was a faded, illegible sign and a single A4 sized laminated sheet, which did not meet with the regulatory requirements for warning signs, pointed in the opposite direction from the wash bay and would not have been visible to a driver exiting the bay.
An HSE report produced for the incident suggested that to manage the risk the company should have contacted Scottish Power to have the lines buried or put in place signage and road markings to form an exclusion zone.
The company has now buried all overhead power lines on the site.
Debbie Carroll, at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said: “Grant Borton lost his life in circumstances which could have been avoided had the risks been recognised and simple controls put in place.
“By failing to have suitable controls in place to prevent contact with overhead power lines Andrew Black put their employees in danger of electrocution.”
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