A county council has been fined £1 million after a disabled person was hit by one of its vehicles in a public park.
A Nottinghamshire County Council vehicle was collecting branches at the time of the accident, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
Disabled man not spotted by driver
A team of workers were in the country park in Rufford Abbey collecting and transporting branches using a tractor-mounted grab attachment.
During the work, the tractor collided with a 71-year-old disabled man who was on a guided walk in the park. The disabled man suffered bruising and injuries to arms, legs and his head.
The council had not implemented a safe system of work for this activity and had failed to segregate vehicle movements from the public, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found.
The workers had not been given adequate training to operate the mounted grab and act as banksmen. And it was also revealed that the machine was unsuitable for transporting such materials over long distances.
Workers and public put at risk
It was judged that the council failed to supervise and plan the work properly, putting both employees and members of the public at risk.
The County Council pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2 (1) and 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and has been fined £1 million and ordered to pay costs of £10,269.85.
HSE Inspector Martin Giles said: “The failure to properly plan this work and put in place straightforward 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.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: May 5, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown