South West Water have been fined £1.8 million after a lone worker drowned in a filtration tank in December 2013.

Robert Geach, had been working to unblock a filter at the Falmouth Water Treatment Works, when he slipped and fell through a hole into over 6 feet of water.

Mr Geach had activated the lone worker alarm system provided by South West Water, but it wasn't until he failed to respond to a call, over an hour later, that someone was dispatched. That person, on arrival, found Mr Geach dead in the tank.

The sentencing judge stated that “no correct risk assessment for the procedure had been done” and that South West Water had been made aware of the dangers of falling into tanks “on a number of occasions”.

A Health and Safety Executive Inspector had raised concerns about railing heights, trip hazards and working alone in 2009.

Dr Stephen Bird, Managing Director for South West Water, said: “South West Water has tried to ensure it learns all that it can from this incident.”