The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has successfully prosecuted four members of a Derbyshire farming family after a three year old child suffered serious injuries to his left foot requiring plastic surgery and a stay in hospital.
The case which was held at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, heard that this was the second incident involving a child. The first was a fatality.
All four defendants pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined individually.
Family member one was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500, member two was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £500, member three was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500 and family member four was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500.
The HSE investigation highlighted significant safety failings. The child was present on the first floor of a barn where one of the family members was moving grain with a specialised machine. The child’s foot was caught and pulled into the moving parts of the device.
The court heard that the child had not only climbed a ladder, but was present on a floor with no guarded sides, poor electrical insulation and significant grain and dust.
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Stuart Parr said “Children should be kept in a safe place, such as a dedicated play area. Alternatively if they are observing farm work, it should be at a safe distance with a competent adult providing supervision, and that adult must not be the person undertaking the work task.”
Free guidance to help manage risks to children on farms is available athttp://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg472.htm and