Berkshire

Newbury roofing firm fined over death of worker

A Berkshire roofing firm has been fined over the death of a worker who was electrocuted while operating a crane.

Anthony Milani, 26, of Newbury, died when the crane touched overhead power cables at an industrial estate, near Eastleigh, Hampshire in 2007.

Blackford Ltd, of Newbury, formerly Harris Roofing Supplies, pleaded guilty at Southampton Crown Court to breaching health and safety regulations.

The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 costs.

Mr Milani was delivering roofing materials to West Horton Farm Industrial Estate when the jib of the lorry-driven Hiab crane he was operating struck the cables.

He was killed instantly.

The court was told that Mr Milani was employed by Blackford as an HGV driver and warehouseman in April 2007.

He was shown how to use the Hiab crane by the senior warehouseman who was not a competent trainer.

The men had visited the industrial estate before the accident and, although the senior warehouseman had been aware of overhead electric cables, he did not consider them to be a hazard and was unaware of safety guidance about power lines or the necessary training of crane drivers.

The court also heard that signs warning of overhead cables had been removed by the site's owners weeks earlier.

After the hearing, Health and Safety Executive inspector Dennis MacWilliam said: "Proper training, simple checks and procedures could have prevented this horrific incident. Tragically, Mr Milani had been booked-in to do a professional course in handling lorry mounted cranes in the month he died.

"The company failed to provide suitable and sufficient training and supervision for Mr Milani in the used of Hiab cranes and especially the risk from overhead power lines. They also failed to ensure lifting operations were properly planned and hazards identified.

"Delivery arrangements at clients' premises should also have been checked from time to time."

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