Farming companies fined after accidents at work

Published: 20/10/2011

Old MacDonald had a farm.
Ee i ee i oh!
With a crash crash here and an ouch ouch there!

Two farming companies have been fined after two workers had an accident at work and suffered personal injuries.

CW Dobbs and Sons was fined £7,000 plus costs of £2,588 after a 45-year-old agency worker was hit by a reversing vehicle which fractured his leg, while R Todd & Co. were fined £20,000 when an employee lost two toes on their right foot.

The employee of R Todd & Co. had been cleaning a screw auger when the machine was accidentally activated while the worker’s foot was caught inside an unsheathed part of it. As well as losing two toes on their foot, the employee has lost the sensation in one of the remaining three toes. Their foot also feels constantly cold.

Harry Bottesch is an Inspector at the Health and Safety Executive. He concluded that insufficient risk assessment had been conducted.

“If R Todd & Company had carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and provided a safe system of work for the task of cleaning inside the grain reception pit, then this incident would not have happened.

“Power to the screw auger in the grain reception put should have been isolated before an employee attempted to enter and clean it. It was not sufficient to simply turn the machinery off.”¹

Both companies pleaded guilty; CW Dobbs and Sons to breaches of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and R Todd & Co. to breaching s2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

¹Health and Safety Executive (Oct 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

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