Power supplier prosecuted over fatal work accident

A power supply company based in London has been prosecuted for health and safety failings after one of its employees died in an explosion.

UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd was prosecuted following the death of 59-year-old Colchester resident John Higgins, who was working for the company at its site in Essex when the fatal incident occurred. Mr Higgins was working to manually adjust voltage ratios on a device in May 2008 when it exploded. The explosion caused a fire, and Mr Higgins died at the scene.

Following a lengthy and in-depth investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it was found that UK Power Networks could potentially have prevented the incident by assessing work with tap changers, which is the task Mr Higgins was working on before his death. It was also found that the company failed to give employees the proper health and safety training.

UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd, which supplies power to London, the South East and the East of England, was ordered to pay £420,000 in fines and court costs for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.