Mick George has had a £566,670 fine for breaching health and safety regulations reduced after the appeal court found it was manifestly excessive.
The company pleaded guilty to a breach of regulation 25(3) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 after a tipper vehicle struck an overhead power line (OPL). The driver was emptying a load of soil at a site in Northampton in 2016 when he pulled forward with the body raised and it touched, or came close to touching, the 33kV line.
The tipper vehicle suffered minor damage but the driver was unhurt.
Mick George had already identified the need for permanent protection structures, but after an initial delay only one was installed.
An HSE investigation showed that Mick George should have assessed the risks from OPLs more rigorously and realised its system of work was inadequate.
However, an appeal court hearing agreed with the appellant that the judge should have concluded that it was a harm Category 3 case, not harm Category 2 case, and that the starting point was manifestly excessive. An appeal court spokesman confirmed that as a result, the original fine was reduced to £334,000, to be paid within 12 months.
The HSE said that every year two people are killed and many more injured when mechanical plant and machinery comes into contact or close proximity with OPLs.
The firm declined to comment.
- Why not register for our Compliance Bulletin to receive the latest legal and fleet management advice fortnightly? Sign up free now