Sandringham Estate could face HSE prosecution following worker injury

The Sandringham Estate owned by the Queen could be facing prosecution over health and safety failings after a gardener fell into a lake on a ride-on lawnmower.

The incident took place when the garden worker, 30, fell into Lower Lake on the premises whilst using a ride-on lawnmower, which then pinned him down under the water. He was underwater for a number of minutes, according to the police, and he suffered “life-threatening” injuries. The latest reports suggest that he is in a critical condition at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

After ruling out foul play as a cause of the incident, an inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) visited the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. If there was an obvious health and safety failing, such as a failure to carry out a risk assessment, to remove dangerous obstacles, to give the worker the right health and safety training or to maintain equipment, the Estate could face prosecution.

As well as facing a potential compensation claim from the gardener, the Estate could also be forced to pay a substantial fine plus court costs, just like any other employer, if the HSE prosecutes and is successful in its case.