Chichester Crown Court heard that Bradley Watts, a 21 year old subcontractor, was lagging pipes in the loft space of Natures Ways Foods premises in Chichester, on 2 June 2011.
He came into contact with a 240V live electrical cable and was electrocuted. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the ambulance crew.
The live cable was part of an old system that had been removed by Natures Way Foods in 2008, but was not identified in any way, and its existence and ‘live’ nature was unknown to Natures Way Foods.
An HSE investigation concluded that Natures Way Foods had plenty of opportunity to deal with redundant cables but it was always assumed they were not live.
Had the old cabling been removed in a systematic and controlled manner, or subsequent checks of the loft space identified the examples of poor practice, the death of Watts could have been avoided.
The company, of Selsey, West Sussex, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was fined £170,000 with costs of £35,403.