• Robert Spicer

Nottingham City Council fined after apprentice injured

Lawnmower hand injuries: local authority fined £33,000

Health and Safety Executive v Nottingham City Council (2017) Nottingham Crown Court. May 25

Statutory reference: s.2 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974 (HSWA); regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and regulations 3 and 5 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR).

Nottingham City Council has been fined following an incident in which an apprentice suffered serious hand injuries.

The facts

· In August 2014 an apprentice employed by the council was using a lawnmower at a primary school in Nottingham. The machine became blocked and he tried to clear the blockage. his hand came into contact with the machine’s rotating blade.

· His right index finger was severed and he suffered serious lacerations of other fingers on his right hand.

· The council had removed some of the manufacturer’s safety measures and replaced them with its own, which were not to the required safety standard.

· The council had failed to suitably control the risks posed by the machinery in use and had not fully considered training needs of workers to operate it in a safe and appropriate manner. There had also been failures in levels of supervision of apprentices.

The decision

Nottingham City Council was fined £33,000 plus £12,000 costs for breaches of s.2 HSWA, regulation 9 of PUWER and regulations 3 and 5 of MHSWR.

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