Overhead Power Strike Death – Do you communicate your Risk Assessments to the workforce or are they just a paper exercise?

Outsource Safety LtdSafety newsOverhead Power Strike Death – Do you communicate your Risk Assessments to the workforce or are they just a paper exercise?
April 17, 2019 Posted by Roger Hart

From the provision of health and safety policies, risk assessments/method statements and toolbox talks to the delivery of Safety~net contracts, Outsource Safety can hold your hand through the mine field of health & safety requirements and procedures, ensuring you are covered for most eventualities.

Communication of risk to the workforce in the form of training is a key focus of the majority of our Safety~net contracts. We believe that paperwork exercises are a waste of time and money unless they are supported by implementation and communication.

The need to understand how to conduct a dynamic risk assessment when out on site is key. Failure to do so can result in a tragic outcome as occurred in the following case.

The failure to communicate safety precautions to the driver of a grab lorry resulted in the unfortunate death of an Options Energy Resource employee. The case held at Luton Crown Court heard how a driver of a grab lorry was unloading material at a farm location in Hertfordshire, when the grab arm came into contact with an 11kv overhead power line. It became apparent during the hearing that safety documentation had not been communicated and followed. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the defendant identified the risk but had failed to implement the precautions adequately, plan construction work and train the employees. The company in question pleaded guilty to breaching section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £400,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £17,242.33.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Samantha Wells commented: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of Options Energy Resource LLP to implement safe systems of work and to ensure that health and safety documentation was communicated and followed.

Every year in the UK, two people are killed and many more injured when machinery comes into contact with, or close proximity to, overhead power lines”.