Power firm boss leaves post

A SENIOR boss at an energy company which is investigating a series of fatal accidents involving the company's workers - including two in East Anglia - has left his job with immediate effect.

Anthony Bond

A SENIOR boss at an energy company which is investigating a series of fatal accidents involving the company's workers - including two in East Anglia - has left his job with immediate effect.

News of the departure of Paul Cuttill, who was Chief Operating Officer of EDF Energy Networks Branch, was announced to staff though an internal letter which has been leaked to the EADT.

The letter from Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz, which was sent out on Tuesday, said: “Last month, Paul and I discussed how we should respond to the series of fatal accidents and the other challenges now facing us in Networks Branch. The single biggest challenge is the safety issue, without question.”


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The letter goes on to say: “Facing this situation, I have come to the conclusion that fresh leadership is important for the branch, and that we should bring forward the change that was being planned for next year.

“I therefore announce that with immediate effect Paul will step down as COO of the Networks Branch and will leave EDF Energy.”

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Mr de Rivaz added: “Paul's loyalty, commitment and professionalism have been of the highest standards throughout his career and as a company we will miss his dedication, knowledge and experience.”

In May, 59-year-old John Higgins was killed after an explosion at an electricity sub-station in Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford. Last November, father-of-four Jonathan Crosby, from Dickleburgh, near Diss, was killed after injuries sustained while working on a power cable in Sawmills Road, Diss. An employee was also killed in Sussex last August and another died in September following an electric shock while working at a house in South Croydon.

EDF Energy has a Zero Harm programme which promotes a zero tolerance approach to health and safety.

Mr Cuttill has worked in the electricity industry for 31 years and since 2002 he has been Chief Operating Officer of EDF Energy Networks Branch. He will be succeeded by Laurent Ferrari who is currently Director of Resources and Transformation in the EDF Optimisation and Trading Division in France.

He will take up his position in a few weeks time.

Mr de Rivaz added in his letter that the company was 100% committed to the objectives of the Zero Harm programme. “Laurent, the whole leadership team and all employees in the branch will have to respond to the massive challenge of Zero Harm - entailing the right priorities in our capital and maintenance investment, more training, better procedures, higher standards, and absolute and rigorous compliance with safety rules.”

EDF Energy would not comment any further on the manner of Mr Cuttill's departure.

Mr Cuttill could not be reached for comment last night.

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