Grantham firm fined over strimmer death

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A COUNTRYSIDE management firm was fined £15,000 on Monday over the death of a father-of-four, who was hit by metal from a strimmer.

Tony Robinson, 37, died after a link from a chain, spinning at around 300mph on the strimmer, became detached and struck him on the back of the neck.

ThreeShires Ltd, of Kings Gardens, Grantham, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found the work had not been planned or carried out safely. It admitted failing to ensure the safety of workers.

Barrow Crown Court heard Mr Robinson, a self-employed contractor, from Ulverston, Cumbria, was using a chainsaw to cut back the overgrown vegetation, with another worker using the strimmer on a nearby bank at Ramsden Dock, in Barrow, on February 8, 2010.

The chain attachment had been added to the strimmer so it could be used for more heavy-duty work. But the Health and Safety Executive investigation found ThreeShires had not properly considered the risks of using the attachment, and had allowed Mr Robinson to work close to where the strimmer was being operated.

Mr Robinson’s widow, Jenna, said: “I cannot comprehend that a company, supposedly experienced in this type of groundwork, didn’t use common sense to realise the equipment was dangerous. This oversight has shattered and ruined my life and that of our children.”

The strimmer attachment is now banned across Europe.

ThreeShires Ltd were ordered to pay £10,000 in prosecution costs.