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Dumfries Sherriff Court was told this week that an employee for J Kelly & Sons, which operates Airdrie Farm in Kirkbean, had been asked to operate a sit-astride ATV and cut the grass on the farm's hen range when the incident occurred on 14 October 2015. The boy sat on the back of the vehicle.
The employee had been cutting the grass for about 20 minutes when he stopped and noticed the child was no longer behind him. He found the eight-year-old on the grass with injuries to his lower leg and called for help. The boy's parents were nearby and an ambulance was called.
After being taken to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, he underwent an eight-hour operation. His lower leg could not be saved and surgeons carried out a below-the-knee amputation. He has since been fitted with a prosthetic limb.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the vehicle's driver had not been trained to use the ATV and J Kelly & Sons had allowed the boy to accompany the worker on previous occasions.
A notification of contravention letter was sent to the company and an improvement notice was issued which it complied with.
J Kelly & Sons of Airdrie Farm, Kirkbean, pleaded guilty to breaching reg 3(1) (b) of the Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture Regulations 1998 and was fined £10,000.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Kim Munro said: "Legislation prohibiting children under 13 from riding on machines such as an ATV protects them from these dangers. Sadly, too often this is ignored and the consequences can be devastating for all involved."
The importance of protecting workers and the public on farms and in the agricultural industry was highlighted during the UK and Ireland's Farm Safety Week, which was held on 24-28 July.
The initiative is supported by the World Health Organization, the US safety regulator OSHA and the International Association of Labour Inspection.ISSA, which represents social security institutions, government departments and agencies in more than 160 countries, is encouraging organisations to pledge to follow seven “golden rules”, including controlling risks, defining targets and developing programmes to meet them, improving worker competence and ensuring work equipment is safe.
Its aims include reducing the fatal accident rate by 20%, communicating the avoidability of accidents and business benefits of safer farms and organising farm safety talks, events and competitions for children aged between 6 and 12.The new programme builds on the first and second FSP action plans, launched in 2012 and 2014. The FSP says that the past three years more than 3,000 people have completed a farm safety awareness training course and 24,000 school children have attended safety presentations.
R J Scaffolding had not trained its employee, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said, nor had it given him appropriate equipment.It also found that the supervisor overseeing the work was not competent. The worker was in an induced coma for two weeks after the fall on 2 June 2016. Bristol Magistrates’ Court was told that he sustained five skull fractures and lost the sight in his right eye. R J Scaffolding pleaded guilty to breaching reg 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It has been fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,658.
The worker was attempting to clear a blockage in the machine at the company’s plant in Mexborough near Doncaster when the incident occurred on 8 March 2016.Sheffield Magistrates’ Court was told that the carding machine was fitted with a flange attachment. This connected pipework to the machine at the discharge chute and supplied loose fibre to a single toy-filling machine.
Exeter Magistrates’ Court was told that Anthony Seward was preparing a piece of machinery for the next shift when his hand was drawn in to the rotating rollers. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Heathcoat Fabrics had not replaced the guard that had broken down two years before and had fitted an emergency stop wire instead.The guard was fixed the day after the incident happened, on 23 August 2014.
Worcester Crown Court was told on 31 August that Jeffery Warner, an employee at Thomas Panels and Profiles, died when a steel beam emerged from a machine and pushed another beam, which crushed him against a closing door.