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Council fined after employee is thrown from a tractor

Bristol City Council has landed in court for safety failings after a park keeper sustained serious injuries when she was thrown from a tractor.

What happened?

The 51-year-old worker had been driving the tractor with a trailer attached in order to carry out maintenance work. As the tractor descended a slope she braked, but the vehicle skidded and overturned, throwing her from the seat.

She broke her pelvis and suffered injuries to an Achilles tendon. She remained off work for a year but has since returned to an office-based role.

An investigation into the incident found that the tractor had not been fitted with a seat belt or any other form of restraint. Additionally, no training had been provided by the council of how to properly use the tractor.

What was the outcome?

Bristol City Council admitting two breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, and was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay £4,700 in costs.

HSE inspector Kate Leftly, said:

“This incident was entirely preventable and has caused the worker
considerable suffering and distress. She had trained three
years for her park keeper role but is now office-bound
and will need further surgery on the tendon
requiring a 12-18 month recovery.

“Every year, there are accidents involving transport in the workplace, some
of which result in people being injured or even killed. People fall
from vehicles, are knocked down, run over, or crushed against
fixed parts, plant and trailers.

“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.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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