A groundsman at a racing circuit has been awarded more than £2 million in compensation after he suffered life-changing injuries in a freak accident.
David Johnson, 63, was working in a team clearing metal advertising hoardings at the racing circuit in Castle Combe, Wiltshire. The signs were placed on the back of a flat-bed truck. Mr Johnson and another man were sitting on the signs when the truck drove off.
A gust of wind caught one of the hoardings and blew it off the back of the truck, throwing Mr Johnson to the ground. He sustained severe head injuries and spent a month in intensive care. The accident caused damage to his brain and he now requires around-the-clock care.
A claim was brought against the company responsible for the racing circuit and a settlement has now been approved by the High Court. It includes a lump sum of £2 million, £250,000 for the first year, and annual, index-linked payments of £205,000 thereafter. The settlement will allow Mr Johnson, who has been living in a rehabilitation centre, to buy a specially adapted home.
The company was also prosecuted for health and safety breaches and ordered to pay fines and costs of £55,000.
Whether or not a risk is reasonably foreseeable can be difficult to determine. When carrying out risk assessments, employers should always consider how and when accidents might happen, keep evidence that these questions have been addressed and provide appropriate training on how to avoid potential risks.