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Ag firm fined after employee loses finger

An agricultural firm has been fined after an employee lost a finger when his hand became trapped in a machine.

CYO Seeds Ltd, with an address at Chilton, Oxfordshire, came before Oxford Magistrates’ Court last month.

The incident arose when a male worker was cleaning a machine at a site in Shipbourne, Tonbridge, Kent, on February 10th, 2021, when his glove was caught by a rotating device.

His hand became trapped, and his right index finger was amputated.

A HSE-led investigation found the company had removed part of the outer casing of the machine and had replaced it with a sliding cover.

The court heard that the cover was easily removable and exposed dangerous parts of the machine when it was running.

When cleaning the machine at the end of the working day, it was common practice to run the machine for a short period of time with the sliding cover removed, the court was told.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

The judge ordered the firm to pay a fine of £15,000 and pay costs of £3,300.

HSE principal inspector, Karen Morris, said the incident could have been avoided if the risk of entanglement had been identified and properly addressed.

Speaking following the hearing, she said:

“Wherever possible, employers should ensure that operatives cannot come into contact with dangerous parts of machinery, even if only briefly.”

“In this case, the company were able to improve the safety of the machine quickly and easily.”

“While this has now reduced the risk for operatives using the machine in the future, these changes are unfortunately too late for this employee who has suffered a permanent disabling condition,” she concluded.

Water pollution

In other court-related news, earlier this week, we reported that a 39-year-old farmer has appeared in court for water pollution offences.

Derry farmer, Adrian Bates, with an address at Ballyronan Road, Magherafelt, was convicted yesterday at Magherafelt Magistrates Court for water pollution offences.

Bates pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £1,000.

Read more on this news article.

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