A glamping, events and outdoor pursuits centre near Bedale has been fined £45,000 for health and safety offences that left a member of staff seriously injured.
Camp Hill Limited, of Kirklington, pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates Court following a workplace incident which left a man in a coma and with serious, life changing injuries.
The incident happened in 2017 when a groundsman was struck by a 4×4 all-terrain work vehicle – it crushed him against a tree whilst he was carrying out his work duties.
The injured member of staff was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital and sustained significant injuries including a punctured lung, ten broken ribs, a broken pelvis, a torn spleen, and damage to his kidneys. He was in hospital for six weeks including a period in which he remained in a coma.
An investigation by Hambleton District Council found that the 4×4 vehicle was in a poor state of repair, had not been subjected to regular maintenance, and was unsafe to use for several reasons, including worn brakes and inoperative safety features.
The council investigation found Camp Hill had failed to ensure safe systems of work were in place for using the vehicle and they had not given staff suitable instructions or training on the use of the vehicle.
Camp Hill was prosecuted for offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 to which the company pleaded guilty to both offences.
At the sentencing hearing, District Judge Holland fined the company a total of £45,000, awarded the Council its full costs of over £14,000 and imposed a victim surcharge of £190.
Paul Staines, Director of Environment at Hambleton District Council, said: “This case was completely avoidable. The standards of health and safety at Camp Hill fell far below the standard expected for a business of this nature.
“It ultimately led to an employee being put at unacceptable risk and suffering very serious and life changing injuries. Businesses have a legal duty to ensure work equipment is maintained in a safe condition and staff are suitably instructed or trained on the safety features of the equipment.
“We hope this prosecution serves as a reminder to other employers they will be held accountable for Health and Safety failings.”