Water company fined £1.8m after employee drowns in tank

The father-of-two drowned after falling into a tank at a sewage treatment works. Credit: Family Photo

South West Water have been fined £1.8m for health and safety offences relating to the death of an employee who drowned at work.

Robert Geach, 54, fell into a filtration tank at the Falmouth Water Treatment Works in December 2013.

South West Water pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Truro Crown Court this afternoon.

A spokesperson for South West Water said:"The death of Robert Geach in December 2013 was a tragedy. Robert was a valued colleague and we very much regret the devastating loss to his family and friends.

"South West Water takes its health and safety responsibilities very seriously, and has co-operated fully with the investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

"South West Water has tried to ensure it learns all that it can from this incident and will continue to strive to meet the highest standards of Health and Safety.

"As was said at the Inquest, a review of our health and safety arrangements was already underway at the time of Robert's death.

"Since then we have updated procedures and policies, carried out comprehensive staff training, and invested in new equipment and technologies, particularly to ensure the safety of staff who may be working alone. We believe our lone worker protection now sets the standard across the industry."