Sussex produce firm must pay over £200,000 following death of contractor

West Sussex fresh produce processor Natures Way Foods has been fined £170,000 after a worker was electrocuted by a "forgotten" live cable.

Chichester Crown Court heard that 21-year-old sub-contractor Bradley Watts was lagging pipes in the loft space of the firm's Chichester premises on 2 June 2011 when he came into contact with a 240V live electrical cable. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 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 was unknown to the company, it emerged.

"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 Bradley Watts could have been avoided," a Health & Safety Executive investigation concluded.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £170,000 and must pay costs of £35,403.


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