Northampton

Developer fined after power lines hit in Northamptonshire

A Kettering developer has been fined £8,000 after a lorry hit overhead power lines, cutting the electricity supply.

The Hazelton Homes (Midlands) Ltd lorry was delivering stone at Old Hall Close, Cottesmore, on 28 March 2012 when the raised tipper body struck the lines.

It caused a power cut affecting 11 homes in the area, which were without electricity for about three hours.

Leicester magistrates heard the firm admitted breaching health and safety regulations.

The case was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at a hearing on Tuesday.

'Clear failure'

Magistrates were told Hazelton Homes failed to make sure that suitable warning signs for vehicles and suspended protections were provided.

However, the court also heard that two and a half weeks before the incident, the company's quantity surveyor warned about the dangers of overhead power lines and the need for barriers and warning signs.

HSE found the power lines had not been made dead or redirected away from the access road.

It also discovered warning signs and suspended protections had not been erected and there were no procedures in place for receiving deliveries.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Linda-Jane Rigby said: "This incident was entirely preventable and arose from a clear failure to assess and manage the risks associated with the presence of overhead power lines.

"The need for goalposts and warning signs had been drawn to the attention of Hazleton Homes (Midlands) Ltd shortly before this incident, but the directors failed to put the necessary measures in place.

"Once remedial steps were taken, the company failed to ensure they remained in place."

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