A judge has ordered a farm partnership to pay over £60,000 after a worker was killed following an incident involving a telehandler.
CM Stone of The Yards, Woolavington Puriton, Bridgwater appeared before Weston Super Mare Magistrates’ Court in recent days.
The court heard how, on October 17th, 2019, Mr Andrew Denning, a self-employed farm worker, was helping to muck out and conduct animal welfare checks inside a large pig shed.
Worker killed by telehandler
Mr Denning was working close to a telehandler, fitted with a bucket. The machine was scraping muck from the floor using “multiple short manoeuvres”.
Denning was struck by the telehandler and killed as it reversed.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident. It concluded that C M Stone failed to ensure a safe work system.
The court heard staff working within the shed were not adequately segregated from the machine “so far as was reasonably practicable”.
The farm partnership pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The judge issued a fine to the tune of £53,000 and ordered the partnership to pay costs of £8,000.
Incident was preventable
Speaking after the case, HSE inspector, William Powell, said: “The system of work used at this farm was not safe.”
“Simple measures to keep pedestrians and large farm vehicles properly separated could have prevented Mr. Denning’s death.”
Powell said being struck by a moving vehicle has been the biggest cause of workplace fatalities on farms for several years.
“Farmers should properly assess their workplace transport risks and separate people and vehicles where reasonably practicable.”
“HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards,” he concluded.
Farm fined after 21-year-old employee killed
Meanwhile, a judge has ordered a farm to pay over £66,000 after an employee (21) was killed whilst dismantling a redundant piece of farming equipment.
Farming partnership, J & D Foster Farms LLP, in the UK, appeared before Folkestone Magistrates’ Court last month.
The court heard how, on April 30th, 2019, George Murrell was crushed by a grain drying tunnel at Fishpond Farm in Tonbridge.