Jury rules accidental death of Emsworth man who was electrocuted

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A FATHER who was electrocuted died as a result of an accident, an inquest concluded.

Alfred Shaun Matthews, 39, of Priors Leaze Lane, Hambrook, near Emsworth, was ‘blown away’ from his truck when the grab arm he was operating touched overhead power cables on July 18 last year.

An inquest in Horsham was told his son, who was six at the time, was present but not injured in the incident at Pond Farm in East Ashling, where Mr Matthews had been buying hay.

The hydraulic cables of the grab arm came into contact with power lines carrying 11,000 volts as Mr Matthews moved it to make space for the hay, the court heard.

Eyewitness Craig Richardson described a ‘bang’ and a ‘flash of flame’.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Michelle Canning told the court signs at the site warning visitors of the power lines had been in an ‘incorrect location’. She added workplace guidelines stated no loading or unloading should occur within 10 metres of power lines, but the cables were around 3m from the barn.

The court heard the power cable section had since been moved underground. A jury concluded accidental death.