Electricity supplier, Electricity North West Ltd, have been fined following the death of a worker.

Mr John Flowers, an experienced linesman, died after falling 6 metres while carrying out routine maintenance on power lines. He had climbed a ladder which was resting against a wood pole, in order to trim ivy away from the power lines, and it is thought that Mr Flowers accidentally cut through his work positioning strap causing him to fall.

The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) investigation into the incident found that the work has not been properly planned. The task of trimming the ivy off the pole should not have been carried out from a ladder, it was not short duration work, so a proper work platform such as a mobile elevated work platform, should have been provided to undertake the task.

The HSE found that there was a lack of information provided to the linesman and employees were not given information on how to safely carry out the work required.

HSE Inspector, Rose Leese-Weller commented: 'Electricity North West failed to ensure that working at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner that was safe. Had these steps been taken we may not have had this tragic outcome.'

Electricity North West Ltd were found guilty of breaches of the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735, and were fined £900,000 with costs to be agreed at a later date.

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