HSE issues warning after contractor pleads guilty to breaching Health and Safety at Work Act

Colas has been fined £90,000 after two workers were killed on the A66 near Bowes, County Durham, in 2002.

Fred Cook, 38, and John Crimmins, 33, both from North Shields, were electrocuted when the mobile towerlight they were pushing came into contact with a high voltage overhead powerline crossing the worksite.

Colas Ltd, the main contractor undertaking resurfacing work, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

In addition to the fine Colas, based at Crawley, West Sussex, was ordered to pay £24,000 in costs by Teesside Crown Court.

Following the prosecution the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) warned of the dangers of equipment with the potential to come into contact with overhead powerlines.

HSE Principal Inspector Rob Hirst, said: "This tragic incident could so easily have been avoided. Had the risks from inadvertent contact with overhead powerlines been recognised, the work activities properly planned and suitable control measures put in place, then this incident would not have occurred.”