A farming company has been fined after one of its directors was seriously injured when working on a combine harvester.

In clearing a blockage, the co-director had stepped on to a platform where the combine’s drum belt feed intake was located.

But the reed threshing machine re-started and the director’s protruding overalls became entangled in the drum belt. The man was dragged feet first into machinery.

Ineffective guarding

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found machinery guarding:

  • was ineffective
  • did not prevent someone coming into contact with dangerous moving parts

Dullam & Co (Farmers) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaking the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

It was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Reducing risk

Making some small cost-effective changes can often significantly reduce risk.

Indeed, the HSE said the incident could so easily have been avoided if the company had simply applied:

  • correct machinery guarding
  • safe working practices

The HSE says employers should make sure they properly assess and put in place effective controls to minimise the risk from dangerous moving parts.

Farming is one of the most hazardous occupations in the UK and workers over 65 are most vulnerable.

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