Truro Magistrates Court has fined a farmer from St Martin, near Helston £12,000 and ordered to pay £8,885 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
A 40 year old female walker was trampled by cows whilst on a public footpath. She sustained significant crush injuries and required a nine week stay in hospital.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told the court that the lady suffered broken ribs, facial and wrist fractures, punctured lungs and deep cuts and bruises.
The footpath was a well-used route for walkers but the HSE reported that the farmer had failed to risk assess the possible danger of allowing access to the public when the field was full of cows with young calves.
After the case was heard, Georgina Speake from the HSE said:
“Farmers must be aware of the risks to people who are entitled to use a public footpath. Farmers and landowners should consider how this risk can be reduced such as using fencing, signs, temporary bypasses or moving cows with calves away from fields with public rights of way.”
Further information on cattle and public access can be found on the HSE website by downloading the information sheet Cattle and Public Access in England and Wales: Advice for Farmers from the HSE website . http://www.hse.gov.uk/