A Church Broughton man has been fined after an employee suffered life-changing injuries when his quad bike overturned at a farm in Derbyshire.


The 42-year-old employee, who has asked not to be named, and also from Church Broughton, was driving the all terrain vehicle (ATV) along a track at Lodge Hill Farm, Barton Blount, on 9 June 2010.


The worker, who was employed by JD and RL Spalton, was rounding up sheep when the vehicle overturned causing him to sustain multiple injuries. The man was airlifted to hospital with a damaged liver, broken jaw and stomach wound. He also lost his right eye, and was in intensive care for more than two weeks. He has since returned to work on light duties.


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the vehicle was in a poorly maintained condition with defects to the tyres, steering and brakes. The tyres were overinflated contrary to the manufacturer’s clearly identified recommendations on a warning sign on the vehicle.


The investigation also found that had a suitable helmet have been supplied the severity of the injuries to the man’s head and face would have been greatly reduced.


David Spalton, a partner of JD and RL Spalton, was prosecuted at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court yesterday for failing to provide suitable protective equipment and failing to ensure that the ATV was properly maintained.


Mr Spalton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 and Regulation 5 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.


He was fined a total of £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.


HSE inspector Berian Price said:


“This man’s injuries could easily have been prevented. Most ATV incidents involve overturning. On average, two people die each year in ATV accidents and non-fatal accidents are estimated to amount to over 1,000 serious injuries per year.


The condition of the ATV is this case indicated a severe lack of maintenance. There was wear and damage to the steering, poor performance of the service and parking brakes, a disconnected brake or tail light and tyres in a very poor condition. Not only was there a lack of pressure, but they had also had a number of ill-advised home-made repairs carried out, including the use of bolts and screws inserted and glued into the tyres.