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February 17, 2020

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In court

Council fined £8k after golf course crash

West Dunbartonshire Council has been fined following an incident at a golf course which left two workers with severe injuries.

Golf cartThe Council pleaded guilty to health and safety breaches after Donald McCandless, 62, and Alan McGrath, 39, were thrown from a maintenance truck with no seatbelts or roll protection at Dalmuir Golf Club.

Mr McCandless, who was driving, suffered a spinal injury after the 6×4 all-terrain vehicle rolled over him and Mr McGrath, who was a passenger, sustained serious leg injuries after it landed on top of him at the Clydebank course.

At Dumbarton Sheriff court, the council was fined £5,000 for failing to make a suitable risk assessment of the dangers and a further £3,000 for failing to protect the men by providing a substandard vehicle, leading to their severe injury.

Procurator fiscal depute Sandra Craig said the men were collecting flags on the John Deere vehicle when the accident happened at a corner on a man-made astro turf path.

She said: “At that point Mr McCandless felt the vehicle slipping back. It slipped and overturned several times and both were thrown from the vehicle. The vehicle landed on Mr McGrath”.

Mr McCandless suffered a spinal fracture and Mr McGrath suffered a broken leg, dislocated ankle, severe laceration to the leg and other injuries.

Fiscal depute Craig said: “No risk assessment had been done in relation to this vehicle. There appears to have been no steps taken by the council to install seat belts or protection.”

The court also heard that the Council had two other vehicles on the golf course, both of which had protection in place.

A spokeswoman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “We are committed to the health and safety of all of our employees and are sorry this incident occurred.

“Lessons have been learned and a number of measures have been put in place including providing additional training and enhancing vehicles to ensure the safety of our employees.

“We have also fully complied with the Health and Safety Executive recommendations.”

Watch: Top 5 most-read in fines and prosecutions in January 2020

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