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South West Water has been fined £1.8 million and ordered to pay costs of over £40,000 after one of its employees was found drowned at the Falmouth Waste Water Treatment Works where he had been working.

Truro Crown Court heard how 54-year-old Robert Geach was last seen working on top of the water treatment unit several hours before he was found by a colleague who was responding to a lone worker system. When the Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident they found that the company had failed to identify the risk of drowning within the maintenance activity that was carried out by employees such as Mr Geach and many others on a regular basis.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Georgina Speake said: “This tragic case could have been prevented if the company had reduced the size of the hatch used to access the sand filters, and properly considered the hazards of the operation, including how close Mr Geach was to the water. Mr Geach was exposed to the risk of drowning which could have been easily been controlled if the task had been properly planned and simple measures adopted earlier which South West Water failed to do so adequately.”

If you or someone you care for has been injured or even killed while at work, it is quite likely that you will be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Every year many people are injured or killed in accidents at work that could have easily been avoided. Employers have a duty of care and a responsibility to protect the health and safety of all of their employees, and the best way to go about this is through thorough and sensible risk assessment. In the case above Mr Geach could still be alive if simple precautions had been taken by his employers.

Our solicitors have years of experience in handling cases of accidents at work. You can contact them for free, with no obligation to continue with a case if you chose not to. They will listen to your side of the story and swiftly be able to decide whether you have a case, and if so, how much that claim could be worth, Contact us today to find out how we can help you get the compensation that you deserve.