0 Cirencester Town Council fined after mower accident left groundsman with fractured ribs

A council has been fined after a worker was thrown from an overturned mower while cutting grass in Gloucestershire.

The groundsman, who has asked not to be named, suffered four fractured ribs and bruising in the incident at Cirencester Amphitheatre on 4 September 2012.

He was working for Cirencester Town Council, which was prosecuted on 4 August by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified safety failings.

Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard the groundsman was carrying out routine cutting on the outside slope of the amphitheatre using a ride-on mower. The grass was around two feet high making it difficult to see the ground conditions, which were uneven with potholes. The mower tipped over and landed on the grass throwing him off. He was then hit by the machine.

His injuries caused him to be off work for two months and he was only able to work on light duties for a further month on his return.

HSE's investigation found that the slope being mown was 64 degrees, and that the mower in operation was not suitable for slopes in excess of 25 degrees. However, the worker had no means of judging the severity of the slope because it did not have an inclinometer.

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