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Estate Worker Killed In All-Terrain Vehicle

Co-Owner Fined For Safety Belt Failings


Wearing a seatbelt on an all-terrain utility vehicle could have saved the lived of a worker on a sporting and farming estate in North Yorkshire, an investigation has found.

James Gaffney, 79, was collecting dead game after a pheasant shoot on the Urra Estate in the North York Moors when his vehicle overturned, causing fatal head injuries.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Mr Gaffney had not been wearing his seatbelt, and that wearing the seatbelt was not common practice among workers.

It was determined that Malcolm John Reeve, the co-owner of the estate, was responsible for health and safety. He was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £1,681 in costs.

"All-terrain vehicles are capable of travelling on very rough and steep ground, but if they do overturn, the driver needs to be retained in the cab," said HSE inspector Julian Franklin. 

"If the vehicle has doors, they should be shut and a seat belt should be used."

Expert Opinion
This tragic case underlines the importance of health and safety regulations in the workplace. It is vital employers take their responsibility for health and safety seriously and ensure staff comply with the latest guidelines and manufacturer instructions when using heavy machinery.

“In this case, a man tragically lost his life, as employees regularly ignored health and safety guidance and his employer failed to ensure staff were complying with measures implemented to keep them safe at work.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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