Council fined over worker’s road injuries - Palmers Solicitors

Council fined over worker’s road injuries

Manchester City Council has been fined £15,000 after a worker suffered serious injuries while litter picking.

The 60-year-old had been trying to cross Princess Parkway, a road with a 40mph speed limit, when he was in collision with a car on 9 July 2013.

Manchester Crown Court heard on 24 September that he suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung, a cut to the liver, a fractured right eye socket, fractures to his face and a broken pelvis. His injuries were so severe that he has still not been able to return to work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the city council did not have a safe system of work in place and had not identified being struck by a car as a risk associated with litter picking work. Staff had not been given any information about controlling or informing traffic about them working on or near the road.

Following the incident, HSE served an improvement notice on the council requiring it to look again at its risk assessment and control procedures.

Manchester City Council was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £3,830 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emily Osborne said: “Any work requiring people to be close to moving traffic needs to be properly assessed. Workers need to be protected and motorists need to be made aware that there may be people working in the road ahead.

“As a result of the incident and the improvement notice, the council has implemented further controls including updating health and safety training, providing more signs and implementing a new monitoring and review process.”

The case demonstrates that even large organisations with substantial resources can fail to meet all their health and safety responsibility, with potentially very serious consequences. Employers of all sizes need to pay ongoing attention to health and safety as part of their overall business operations, to ensure that relevant policies, procedures, risk assessments, training and health and safety information for employees are kept up to date.

Palmers can provide comprehensive, cost-effective advice and guidance to help employers meet their legal health and safety obligations. For more information on how Palmers can assist you with health and safety issues, or if you are facing prosecution, please visit the Palmers website or contact our health and safety specialists Lara Murray and Jeremy Sirrell.