Haulage company fined £150,000 after employee death

A family run haulage and storage business, has been fined following the death of a 25-year-old employee at its premises in East Lothian.

Andrew Black Limited was fined £150,000 after the death of Grant Borton, an experienced LGV driver on 31 December 2022.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard that after finishing his driving duties, Mr Borton was using the-onsite wash bay to clean his vehicle in preparation for his next shift. Upon exiting the wash bay, he raised the body of his tipper vehicle and made contact with overhead powerlines which resulted in his death by electrocution.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident revealed that a failure to ensure suitable control measures were in place resulted in Mr Borton being electrocuted. Had the risks been recognised and simple controls been implemented, his death could have been avoided.

On 4 July 2023, Andrew Black Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 and were fined £150,000.

Speaking after the case HSE Principal Inspector Fiona MacNeill said “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply ensuring suitable control measures and safe working practices were in place.  HSE guidance clearly sets out the requirements to avoid the risk, or where this is not reasonable, implement suitable controls including establishing safety zones.

“Accidental contact with live overhead power lines kills people and causes many serious injuries every year particularly in agriculture and construction.  Companies should be aware that we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those that fall below the required standards.”


Notes to editors 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.
  4. Guidance about working around overhead powerlines is available.