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Farm owner fined over worker accident

Posted in: Employer Negligence Leg Injuries Workplace Injuries 

A Northumberland farm owner has been sentenced after one of the farm’s workers suffered severe leg injuries after a concrete panel fell onto him. It was heard at Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court that on the 4th August 2014, the worker, who remains unnamed, and one of his colleagues, were using a telehandler with a fork attachment to build cattle troughs. The troughs were being made out of reinforced concrete panels weighing approximately 1.5 tonnes.

Six fractures to lower right leg

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court that the two workers had wrapped a hook-ended chain around the forks and attached the hooks to lifting hoops on the panels. They realised, however, that because they were building the troughs inside a shed, they couldn’t get the telehandler boom through at the same time as lifting the panel. As a result, they started to lower the panel down, allowing them to shorten the chain, however, the panel was not adequately supported and fell onto the man’s leg. The worker suffered a total of six fractures to his lower right leg, which required surgery to insert a metal rod. He was completely unable to walk for four months.

HSE, following an inspection, told farm owner Messrs F T Walton that he failed to adequately plan the lifting process. He failed to ensure that there was both adequate equipment and that the lifting could be carried out safely.

Messrs F T Walton of Flotterton Farm, Morpeth, Northumberland, admitted breaching Regulation 8(1) Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1096. He was also ordered to pay the injured worker £2,000 in compensation.

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