Company fined after poorly maintained tractor inflicts multiple injuries on worker …
An agricultural company in Lincolnshire has been prosecuted after an employee suffered severe injuries when he was run over by a tractor.
The 51-year-old accident victim was working for the farming company near the town of Melton Mowbray when the incident occurred on 1 August 2011.
Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that the tractor that was involved in the incident had not been properly maintained and had had a faulty starter motor for some time which meant that staff were starting the vehicle using a screwdriver or spanner.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the accident found that the man was standing outside the vehicle and had positioned himself between the front and back wheels as he tried to start it, however the vehicle was already in gear and it proceeded to move forward knocking down the man. It carried on across the yard until another employee was able to bring it to a stop using the emergency brake.
The accident victim suffered multiple injuries as a result of the impact from the tractor, these included a punctured lung, fractured ribs, a broken ankle and thumb and severe crush injuries to the area around his pelvis. He was incapicitated for almost half a year and while he did later return to work he has since left the position.
The farming company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 5(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for failing to maintain equipment under their responsibility and was fined £10,000 in addition to costs of £5,529.
HSE inspector Berian Price who had investigated the specific case commented after the hearing:
“This was an easily avoidable incident. Although the tractor was not subject to an MOT there was still a duty on the company to make sure it was kept in good repair and in efficient working order.
“It wasn’t a big or expensive job to replace the starter motor yet employees were put at risk, and a worker was very seriously injured because no-one from the company saw fit to remedy the problem.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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