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Herefordshire farming company fined after 21-year-old worker electrocuted

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that Velcourt Limited, of The Veldt House, Much Marcle, Ledbury, has been fined after a man was electrocuted while working on farmland near Ludgershall in Wiltshire.

Edward Pybus, 21, from Yorkshire, was harvesting crops at Chute Farm, Upper Chute when he received the fatal shock on 6 August 2007.

The combine harvester Mr Pybus was driving had a problem with the grain discharge spout and so it was left extended while he was cropping a field. The field had 11,000 volt overhead power lines running across it.

During cropping the harvester had picked up stones and soil. Mr Pybus stopped the machine in order to clear it not realising the grain spout was touching one of the power lines.

As Mr Pybus got out of the harvester and stepped onto the ground, he received a fatal electric shock.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. It was fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £45,000.

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