A farming company have been ordered to pay £125,000 after a farm worker was killed whilst harvesting potatoes.
Konrad Miskiewicz, 24, was killed after he was electrocuted when the harvesting machine he was working on hit a 6,300 volt overhead power line.
On July 2011, Mr Miskiewicz was working on the back of the harvester that was being pulled along by a tractor alongside the harvester by a conveyor. The conveyor crashed into the power line, causing one line to snap and the second to snag.
The power line was then switched back on, after it was believed the electricity was cut off by a bird landing on the conductors, causing Mr Miskiewicz to be electrocuted.
Pengelly Farms Limited in Falmouth Cornwall, admitted breaching health and safety guidelines by failing to ensure workers weren’t exposed to harm from overhead power lines.
At Truro Crown Court the company’s defence lawyer claimed: “This is not a company that ignored its responsibilities in respect of health and safety … this is a company who long before the prosecution began had learned from this event and I would like to think would never fall foul of it again.”
Since the incident the company have made several changes to ensure workers were fully trained, improving safety measures and the company purchased equipment to measure height of power lines.
The company received a fine of £75,000 and were ordered to pay £50,000 towards prosecution costs.