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UK Power Networks fined over worker death

UK Power Networks (Operations), of Newington House, 237 Southwark Bridge Road, London, has been ordered to pay £420,000 in fines and costs after an employee died while working at one of its Essex sites.

Electrical engineer Mr John Higgins, from Colchester, was killed at an electrical substation in Bishops Hall Lane in Chelmsford on 7 May 2008 when a device he was working on for manually adjusting voltage ratios, known as a transformer tap changer, exploded.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that UK Power Networks had failed to properly assess work with tap changers and to devise procedures for the work. It had also failed to adequately train employees for carrying out this task.

UK Power Networks has since introduced revised procedures to safeguard staff.

UK Power Networks (Operations) was fined £275,000 with £145,000 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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