Cheltenham Borough Council fined £14,000 following ride-on mower accident

Cheltenham Borough Council in Gloucestershire has been successfully prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for negligence which led to an employee falling from a ride-on mower.

The council was fined £14,000 on 28 September, ordered to pay a further £3,000 in compensation to the victim, plus £18,530 costs.

In May 2008 a parks worker suffered broken ribs and a compressed lung after falling from a ride-on mower onto a bench. Magistrates heard that the gradient on which the mower was operating was well in excess of the limit recommended by its manufacturer, and that the council had failed to carry out a full risk assessment or provide adequate instruction.

Following the verdict by Cheltenham Magistrates, HSE inspector Alison Fry said: "This incident was entirely avoidable, and the fact that this was not a fatality was only a matter of chance.

"This case sends out a clear message to employers to ensure that they carry out risk assessment, taking all site conditions into account, including steepness of slopes, before deciding which equipment is suitable."


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