The Cheshire office of Amec Services is one of two firms fined a total of £45,000 at Luton Crown Court after the death of a pensioner.
Amec Services and Lincolnshire-based AMS No-Dig were prosecuted after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into a fatal accident on 26 January last year in South Oxhey, near Watford, Hertfordshire A water main was fractured during underground drilling work, causing part of a road to flood. A car driven by Alice Quinn, 63, was stranded in the flood. Quinn died from acute cardiac failure. The companies pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to comply with their duty to the public under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Amec Services was fined £25,000 with £11,800 in costs. AMS No-Dig was fined £20,000 and £7600 in costs.

HSE inspector Frank Lambert said: “This tragic incident a lesson to all those engaged in excavation works, particularly in public areas. Gas, electric and water services … must be meticulously planned”