Tipper lorry hits power lines on housing job

Grant Prior 9 years ago
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A Kettering developer has been fined after a tipper lorry hit overhead power lines and cut the electricity supply to local homes.

The lorry, belonging to Hazelton Homes (Midlands) Ltd, was delivering stone at Old Hall Close, Cottesmore, on 28 March 2012 when the raised tipper body struck the power lines above.

The strike brought down the lines causing a power cut to 11 homes nearby which were without electricity for three hours.

Leicester Magistrates heard that Hazelton Homes (Midlands) Ltd of Rushton, Kettering, failed to make sure that suitable warning signs for vehicles and suspended protections were provided.

The court also heard that two and a half weeks before the incident, the company’s quantity surveyor warned about the dangers of overhead power lines and the need for barriers and warning signs.

HSE found the power lines had not been made dead or redirected away from the access road.

Warning signs and suspended protections had not been erected and there were no procedures in place for receiving deliveries.

When HSE inspectors revisited the site on 6 November 2012, they found the signs warning of the presence of overhead power lines had been removed, as well as the goalpost, which sits across the road on the entrance to the site, warning of a height restriction, on one side of the overhead power lines.

Hazelton Homes (Midlands) Ltd pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £8,000 with costs of £4,214.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Linda-Jane Rigby said: “This incident was entirely preventable and arose from a clear failure to assess and manage the risks associated with the presence of overhead power lines.

“The need for goalposts and warning signs had been drawn to the attention of Hazleton Homes (Midlands) Ltd shortly before this incident but the directors failed to put the necessary measures in place.

“Once remedial steps were taken, the company failed to ensure they remained in place.

“A number of people die every year when they accidentally make contact with electrical cables. It was only a matter of luck that no-one was seriously injured or killed in this incident.”

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