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Pig farm telehandler

Farm worker fatally injured by telehandler

A farming partnership has been fined after a farm worker was fatally injured following an incident involving a telehandler within the pig barn.

Weston Super Mare Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 17 October 2019, Mr Andrew Denning, a self-employed farm worker, was helping with the mucking-out and animal welfare checks inside a large pig shed.

Mr Denning was working in close proximity to a telehandler, fitted with a bucket, which was scraping the muck from the floor using multiple short manoeuvres. Mr Denning was struck by telehandler and killed as it reversed.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that C M Stone failed to ensure a safe system of work. Staff working within the shed were not adequately segregated from the machine so far as was reasonably practicable.

CM Stone of The Yards, Woolavington Puriton, Bridgwater, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation, 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.The company has been fined £53,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,000.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector William Powell commented: “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.

“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”