Company fined £150,000 after driver fatally electrocuted by power lines

Grant Borton, 25, died after the vehicle's tipper made contact with overhead power lines.

East Lothian company fined £150,000 after driver fatally electrocuted by power lines COPFS

A haulage firm in East Lothian has been fined a six-figure sum after a lorry driver was fatally electrocuted while washing his vehicle.

LGV driver Grant Borton had been finishing work on December 31, 2021 and had been preparing his lorry for his next shift at Andrew Black Ltd’s Drem Airfield premises when the incident occurred.

After he left the wash bay, the 25-year old raised the tipper which made contact with the overhead power lines.

Mr Borton was electrocuted and died. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that a failure to ensure suitable control measures were in place resulted in Mr 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. 

The regulatory requirements for warning signs were not met by the company.COPFS

One of the HSE specialist reports produced for this 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.  

Since the incident, the company has buried all overhead power lines on the site.  

Andrew Black Ltd pled guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on July 4 to failing to ensure there were suitable controls in place for work carried out near dangerous overhead power lines between November 15 2021 and January 5 2022. 

The company was fined £150,000.

Debbie Carroll, who leads on health and safety investigations for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) 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 Ltd put their employees in danger of electrocution. 

“This prosecution should remind employers that failing to take reasonable health and safety measures can have fatal consequences and they will be held accountable for this failure.” 

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