Anthony Robinson death: Firm fined over strimmer accident
Published: 12th Mar 2012 17:54:10
A firm has been fined £15,000 over the death of a man who was struck by a piece of metal that flew off a strimmer at high speed.
Tony Robinson, 37, from Ulverston, Cumbria, died after a link from a petrol strimmer became detached and hit him in the neck at about 300mph.
It happened at Ramsden Dock in Barrow on 8 February 2010.
ThreeShires Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Health and Safety rules and was also fined £10,000 in costs.
The company, of Kings Gardens in Grantham, Lincolnshire, admitted failing to ensure the safety of its workers.
ThreeShires Ltd, which specialises in ecological and forestry work, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into Mr Robinson's death found the work had not been planned or carried out safely.
Barrow Crown Court heard Mr Robinson, a self-employed contractor, had been hired to help clear undergrowth at the site during the construction of the new Waterfront business park.
He was using a chainsaw to cut back the overgrown vegetation, with another worker using the strimmer on a nearby bank.
The chain attachment had been added to the strimmer so it could be used for more heavy-duty work.
Tony Robinson's widow, Jenna, said: "Even though I am no engineer, when I was shown the piece of equipment, common sense told me that it was an accident waiting to happen, with links that could easily fly off.
"It is obvious that insufficient care was taken to protect anyone in the vicinity.
"The only small comfort is that the equipment has now been banned so hopefully another family will be spared the anguish we have had to go through and continue to experience with every birthday, Christmas or family occasion."
The HSE issued a Safety Alert following Mr Robinson's death, warning that there was a risk of death or serious injury from the use of the strimmer attachment.
It also served an immediate prohibition notice against the sole importer of the chain attachments in the UK, which resulted in a nationwide ban on the sale or supply of the product.
The attachment has now also been banned across Europe, after the HSE alerted the European Commission to the issue.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Anthony Robinson death: Firm fined over strimmer accident [Online] (Updated 12th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1415641/Anthony-Robinson-death-Firm-fined-over-strimmer-accident [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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