A dairy farm has been fined after a farm worker suffered a serious leg injury during a bull attack.
The employee, who had worked at Moreton Hall Farm for a year, was charged by the bull on August 23, 2016. He required an operation as a result of his leg injury.
The worker was an employee of T N Beeston, which is based near Market Drayton, north Shropshire.
He had to enter the enclosure three times a day to clear it out, although the bull was loose in the shed, Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
Despite signs that the bull was getting more difficult to handle, there were no means of restraint to prevent workers from having to enter the area where the bull was kept.
The farm’s risk assessment identified a risk from the unrestrained bull but failed to identify adequate controls.
Mature dairy bulls can be unpredictable and aggressive, and the farm had not provided a suitable bull pen, with means of restraint, to separate the animal from farm workers.
T N Beeston and Son, of Moreton Hall Farm, Morton Say, Market Drayton pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The company was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,079
HSE inspector Wendy Campbell said after the hearing: “Farmers have a responsibility to assess risks from their cattle and provide suitable housing and handling facilities to ensure that bulls are excluded from areas where they or their employees work.
"Farm workers should never enter an enclosure when a bull is loose.”
According to the Labour Force Survey, there are 13,000 non-fatal injuries to workers in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector each year. RIDDOR analysis shows that 14% of these are due to being injured by an animal.
However, HSE guidance on health and safety in agriculture suggests that only the most serious 16% of injuries to agricultural workers are actually reported, and that there could be as many as 10,000 unreported injuries in the sector each year.