Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Karting Company And Manager Sentenced For Health And Safety Breaches

The company and manager in charge of a raceway in Caxton when a teenager died during an out-of-hours go-karting accident in 2009 have been sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court today (Tuesday 5 November).

The Crown Court judge fined Peterborough Raceway Limited £8,500, and the manager of the track at the time, Paul Shinn, was fined £1,700.

At an earlier hearing the company pleaded guilty to a breach of section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and Paul Shinn pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 3(1)(b) Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Suzanne Cornwell was fatally injured when her scarf got caught in the axle of her kart in December 2009. Following the conclusion of a Police investigation and a coroner's inquest, South Cambridgeshire District Council commenced a prosecution under Health and Safety legislation.

The court heard that the company had a lack of management supervision, there were no mandatory risk assessments, staff were not trained and basic safety measures were not in place. Paul Shinn had also not carried out a risk assessment.

In court the Judge Madge said that no causal link between the Health and Safety breaches and the fatal accident had been established and the out-of-hours incident had taken place without the knowledge of the company or management.

The judge reiterated the importance of Health and Safety in court and said that it is not a bureaucratic hindrance and compliance is important to prevent loss of life and serious injury.

The Company was also ordered to pay a contribution towards costs of £4,000.

Cllr Mick Martin, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult period for Suzanne’s family and our thoughts have been with them throughout. It was absolutely right for the Council to pursue a prosecution under Health and Safety legislation as the company had not met their responsibilities. We have a responsibility to our residents and our job has been to investigate the case, present the facts to the courts, and it has been for them to rule on the outcome.”

Peterborough Raceway Limited no longer operates the site at Caxton.