Tragedy un­der­lines the im­por­tance of vis­i­bil­ity

Health and safety: Plea fol­lows fa­tal ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing mem­ber of pub­lic

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FARMING - BY GEMMA MACKEN­ZIE

Farm­ers are be­ing re­minded to en­sure they have full for­ward vis­i­bil­ity when driv­ing ma­chin­ery.

The plea from the Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive (HSE) fol­lows a fa­tal in­ci­dent in­volv­ing a mem­ber of the pub­lic on a York­shire farm.

Leeds Mag­is­trates’ Court heard that, on Fe­bru­ary 22 2017, the de­ceased was struck by a te­le­scopic loader be­ing driven by farmer Anthony Ack­royd, at Waller House Farm in Wighill, Tad­caster.

The court heard the in­ci­dent oc­curred when Mr Ack­royd was driv­ing the JCB te­le­scopic loader car­ry­ing bales of hay on the front, se­verely re­strict­ing for­ward vis­i­bil­ity. He could not see the de­ceased and drove over him, killing him in­stantly.

An HSE in­ves­ti­ga­tion found the de­ceased had pre­vi­ously been em­ployed on the farm be­fore his re­tire­ment, and lived in a cot­tage ad­ja­cent to the farm. He was a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to the farm.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion also found Mr Ack­royd was car­ry­ing an em­ployee of the farm on the loader at the time. The em­ployee was stand­ing on the mount­ing step of the ve­hi­cle in such a way that had he slipped off the step, he would have fallen di­rectly un­der the wheels of the ma­chine.

The farm busi­ness pleaded guilty to breach­ing Sec­tion 2 (1) and Sec­tion 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The com­pany has been fined £18,000 and or­dered to pay £10,690 costs.

“This was a tragic and wholly avoid­able in­ci­dent,” said HSE in­spec­tor Ju­lian Franklin.

“Driv­ers should en­sure that they can al­ways see in front of them or take equally ef­fec­tive pre­cau­tions.

“Ve­hi­cles at work con­tinue to be a ma­jor cause of fa­tal and ma­jor in­juries; every year there are over 5,000 in­ci­dents in­volv­ing trans­port in the work­place. About 50 of these re­sult in peo­ple be­ing killed.”

AP­PEAL: The Health and Safety Ex­ec­u­tive has re­minded farm­ers to en­sure they have full for­ward vis­i­bil­ity when driv­ing ma­chin­ery

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