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Council Fined Following Park Keeper Accident

Bristol City Council Fined £20,000 After Worker Suffers Injuries In Tractor Accident


Bristol City Council has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,700 in costs after admitting to two breaches of health and safety regulations.

The local authority failed to adhere to Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, which resulted in a 51-year-old female employee sustaining serious injuries.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the unnamed park keeper suffered a broken pelvis and badly damaged Achilles tendon when a tractor she was driving overturned.

She was attempting to drive the vehicle - which had a trailer attached to the rear - down a slope at Netham Park when she encountered difficulties.

The tractor skidded as she turned to avoid a fence and she was thrown out of her seat.

Her injuries were so painful that the council employee remained off work for a year. She has since returned to an office job, but will require further surgery.

The HSE found the tractor was not fitted with a seatbelt or any other form of restraint and the worker had not received sufficient training on how to operate the machine.

An investigation by the health and safety regulator also discovered the tractor and trailer were nearly new, but had been purchased outside the usual procurement procedure, which meant no supplier training was provided.

Speaking after the hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court, HSE inspector Kate Leftly said the incident - which took place on 30 May 2012 - caused the injured park keeper "considerable suffering and distress".

"Every year, there are accidents involving transport in the workplace, some of which result in people being injured or even killed," she commented.

"Bristol City Council had inadequate systems in place to ensure operators were suitably trained in the use of this equipment and failed to identify the need for a suitable seat restraint."

HSE figures show that 15 workers suffered a fatal workplace injury that involved a vehicle in some way in 2012-13.

If you've been Injured While Working for the Council and believe they are at fault you might be entitled to claim compensation. Read our Claims Against the Council page for more details or enquire online.

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