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Home » Latest News » Lincolnshire farming brothers fined following potato grading machine accident

Lincolnshire farming brothers fined following potato grading machine accident

Lincolnshire farming brothers fined following potato grading machine accident

A farm worker was left with serious injuries following an accident that occurred whilst cleaning and emptying a potato grading machine.

Two partners from Lincolnshire based farming company Leverton Brothers have pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and Regulation 11 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

It was heard at Lincoln Magistrates Court that an employee was trapped in a potato grading machine for 45 minutes following an accident involving his right arm being drawn into the unguarded contra-rotating haulm rollers.

The circumstances unfolded as he was cleaning and emptying the machine. In order to check that the grader was emptying, he climbed onto the side of the grader and reached across in an effort to move all remaining potatoes whereby his glove was caught by the rollers, drawing his arm in.

The man suffered serious injuries, and an HSE investigation identified that a safe stop procedure could have been followed and that a guard should gave been in place over the contra-rotating rollers.

David and Philip Leverton both received a fine of £5,000 and were ordered to pay costs of £892.10.

Kathryn Hudson, Partner and specialist agricultural accidents solicitor at Bridge McFarland said: “Injuries like this are far too common, yet easily avoidable through good practice of health and safety procedure. Employers owe a duty of care to protect their employees and to provide safe machinery and in this case the employer failed in their duty to protect the victim from harm.

“Farming, just like any industry that involves working with heavy machinery, can be an incredibly dangerous job. Ensuring that guards are in place is a relatively simple way of minimising this danger.”

If you have suffered an injury in the workplace click here for more information.