Director ran over technician at Silverstone racetrack03 September 2012
A technician for a historic racing car team has suffered serious leg injuries after he was run over by a vehicle driven by a company director.
Simon Dockray was working for Frank Lyons International Racing when the incident took place at the Silverstone Circuit on 8 May 2009. The 46-year-old was one of three banksmen guiding the team transporter, which was being driven by company director Francis Lyons, as it parked adjacent to the pit garages in the paddock.
Mr Dockray was standing by the front passenger side of the transporter, and when the vehicle moved forwards to reposition, it ran over his leg. Lyons, who didn’t realise he had struck the engineer, then reversed the vehicle back over his leg.
Mr Dockray suffered serious leg injuries, which required numerous operations and resulted in long-term disability. He has not been able to return to his role on account of his injuries.
The incident was investigated by South Northamptonshire Council, which discovered that Mr Lyons was not licensed to drive the transporter on the highway. The company also had no suitable procedures in place to separate vehicles and pedestrians. Staff were not suitably trained how to act as banksmen and none of them were wearing high-visbility clothing, which was a requirement of the company’s own risk assessment.
Frank Lyons Staff Services Ltd appeared at Northampton Crown Court on 17 August and pleaded guilty to breaching s2(1) of the HSWA 1974. It was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £30,000.
In mitigation, the company said it had cooperated with the investigation and regretted the incident.
After the hearing, Councillor Dermot Bambridge said: “This incident could have been avoided and highlights the need for employers to ensure they devise and maintain safe working practices.
“Large vehicles frequently undertake high-risk reversing manoeuvres at race circuits as team trucks reverse up to pit garages. When accidents occur in this situation they can result in a major injury, or a fatality. It is essential that the race circuits, the event organisers and the race teams cooperate to assess these risks appropriately and implement suitable controls.”
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