Car racing firm fined £50,000 following safety breaches at Birmingham track

A stock-car racing firm was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 costs after pleading guilty to two health & safety offences after an accident led to a sponsor’s death at a Birmingham track.

The sentence was handed to Incarace Ltd – based in Aldershot, Hampshire – at Coventry Magistrates Court after Birmingham City Council brought a prosecution against company following the fatal incident at Birmingham Wheels racetrack in November 2019.

The company had pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 17 March 2022 to two offences – one each under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – for failing to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks of people entering the track while recovery vehicles were moving around.

An investigation by the council’s Environmental Health team found that the risk assessment carried out by Incarace Ltd was both unsuitable and insufficient – and as a result necessary control measures to keep pedestrians away from moving vehicles on the track were not implemented.

Colin North, who was representing one of the race sponsors, had entered the track after the third race of the day to take part in the presentation of awards to the winning driver. At the time a number of vehicles, including two large tractors, were on the track recovering stock cars after the race.

Due to the noise from the track, Mr North did not hear the tractor approach and was struck from behind, as the driver was unable to see him on the circuit.

Cllr Philip Davis, chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This tragic accident should not have happened and shows that no matter how familiar people may be with race tracks and their protocols, the need for robust risk assessments and safety measures should not be underestimated.

“I understand the company made its health and safety protocols much tighter, especially about keeping event staff and sponsors safe and away from moving vehicles, following the incident and that they co-operated with the council’s investigation. I hope this provides some solace for Mr North’s family.”

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