Six-figure fine for fresh produce grower after "serious and avoidable" contractor injury

A Norfolk fresh produce grower and an irrigation engineering firm have each been given substantial fines after a worker was seriously injured by overhead power lines while installing irrigation on a farm.

Image: Clint Budd (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Clint Budd (CC BY 2.0)

Contract growing firm L F Papworth was fined £134,000 and ordered to pay £6,500 costs, while contractor TW Page & Son was fined £80,400 with £6,600 costs.

Both were found in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act after TW Page employee Jonathan Howes suffered "life-changing injuries" including extensive burns in April 2004, when the mast of a lorry-mounted drilling rig he was working on touched the 11kV power line.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that neither company had taken effective precautions to prevent the incident.

HSE inspector Jessica Churchyard said: "Similar incidents involving overhead power line strikes remain all too common and are almost always entirely avoidable."

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