UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd (UKPN) which maintains the power distribution supplies to London, the South East and East of England has been fined £1million after a member of the public was electrocuted by a low-hanging high voltage power cable in July 2012.

Dr James Kew was running on land in Newport, Saffron Walden, Essex, when he came into contact with a cable which should have been 5.5 metres above ground.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard the high voltage cable was only 1.5m above ground (at its lowest point), straddling a well-used footpath, after parts of a porcelain insulator disintegrated on a wooden pole supporting the power cable.

HSE investigators found that an insulator on a pole mounted, overhead high voltage power line had failed. This resulted in a conductor falling to 1.5m above a cornfield. The conductor (now suspended across the public footpath) was connected to the power supply and energised at 11KV.

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via: Philip Poynter Construction Safety