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Farm company fined after worker electrocuted

20 January 2016

A farming company in Cornwall has been fined £75,000 after a worker was electrocuted.

Konrad Miskiewicz was working as part of a team harvesting potatoes when the incident happened, in Falmouth, in July 2011.

Truro Crown Court heard the 24-year-old was working in an area behind a harvester where potatoes are sorted.

Access to this area was via a metal step, either side and at the rear of the tented work area. Metal chains were also at each access point.

As the potato harvester was being reversed down a field, it came into contact with overhead power lines.

One of these lines fell to the floor and Mr Miskiewicz, from Poland, was electrocuted.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and prosecuted Pengelly Farms Ltd, the company which rented the land and whose employee was driving the harvester.

The company, of Peat House, Newham Road, Truro, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a breach of section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 costs.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement  
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
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