Baytree Nurseries of Weston fined after employee fell from tree

Baytree Garden Centre, Weston
Baytree Garden Centre, Weston
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Baytree Nurseries Ltd has been fined £13,000 after a staff member was seriously injured when he fell from a tree.

Action was taken against the Weston garden centre by South Holland District Council, following an investigation in to an accident that occurred at the site on September 6, 2016.

S staff member Lloyd Baker was seriously injured when falling from a tree while descending following aerial tree work. At Boston Magistrates Court on Wedesnday the company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2, The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

It was stated that a risk assessment was completed for the task the day before, however, the findings of this were not documented, the injured party was not trained to complete aerial tree work, nor wore any fall arrest system, and the work area was not cordoned off.

A fine of £20,000 was imposed in line with the Sentencing Guidelines, but reduced to allow full credit for an early guilty plea. Full Costs were awarded and a victim surcharge of £170.

In summary, District Judge Veits made the point that costs were awarded in full as he could not criticise SHDC for doing a job well. He stated that a thorough investigation led to a guilty plea.

A council spokesperson said: “We hope this sends a clear message to employers who are responsible for the safe working conditions of staff. This council takes its regulatory role of the enforcement of health and safety extremely seriously. We will not hesitate to intervene where necessary to protect both employees and members of the public as a whole.

“The council will continue to assist and support businesses to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of all those in our community. However, let there be no doubt, where acceptable standards are not met or are allowed to slip then formal enforcement action will follow”.