Sunday, 30 April 2017

Nottinghamshire County Council fined £1,010,269 after a member of the public was struck by a tractor in a park

Nottinghamshire County Council was fined £1,010,269 (inc costs) after a disabled member of the public was struck by a vehicle used for collecting branches.
The circumstances were:
  • Council employees were working in the County Park in Rufford Abbey on 1 June 2015, collecting branches and transporting them, using a tractor mounted grab attachment, to be burned.
  • The branches in the grab attachment obscured the vision at the front.
  • The council failed to implement a safe system of work for this activity in that they failed to segregate vehicle movements from the public.
  • They failed to train the workers to the required level to operate the mounted grab and act as banksman. 
  • The machine was not suitable for transporting materials long distances.
  • The company also failed to supervise and adequately plan the work sufficiently in a public place and 
  • As a result they put their own employees and members of the public at risk.
  • During these operations, a disabled man was on a guided walk in the park. 
  • The worker using the tractor to transport branches through the park could not see the member of public ahead and collided with him.
  • The 71-year-old man suffered serious bruising and injuries to arms legs and head.

The HSE inspector said:
“The failure to properly plan this work and put in place straight forward control measures not only put the gentleman at risk but also endangered other members of the public walking with him. Duty holders have the responsibility to assess the work they do in public areas to lower the risk of harm and injury, particularly when they introduce new plant or equipment.”

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