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Warning After Fatal Quad Bike Accident

Workplace Fatal Accident


Firms are being advised to make sure that employees using quad bikes wear the proper protective clothing and receive the correct training after a worker died when he crashed into a tree.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) brought a prosecution against the owner of Kelloe Mains Farm, near Duns, in Berwickshire, following the death of Grant Shannon.

Mr Shannon sustained fatal head injuries when he lost control of an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) while moving cattle from one part of a field to another.

The 34-year-old had only taken up employment on the farm as a dairy worker just three days before the accident and had never driven an ATV before. He had also been given no formal training on how to operate the vehicle and was not wearing any head protection.

Investigations by the HSE revealed that the quad bike had a number of defects, the most serious being incorrect tyre pressure which is critical for the safe operation of ATVs. Four worn tyres and ineffective rear brakes were also discovered.

The farm's owners, a partnership known as R & J McDonald, were fined £6,650 at Jedburgh Sheriff Court after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Specifically, they accepted they were guilty of a "failure to provide and maintain plant (ATV) that was, so far as reasonably practicable, safe".

Copyright © Press Association 2009

David Urpeth, a solicitor at law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I welcome the fine imposed following this tragic yet avoidable work accident.

"Employers have a duty to provide employees with safe and suitable work equipment which is properly maintained.

"Employers are also under a duty to provide workers with suitable personal protective equipment designed to prevent injury in the event of an accident at work.

"Sadly, I regularly encounter cases where I have to help an injured or killed worker pursue a compensation claim following an industrial accident in circumstances that could easily have been avoided."