Farmers Guardian
News
Word ‘milk’ banned for use in branding of plant-based products

Word ‘milk’ banned for use in branding of plant-based products

This Is Agriculture - Sponsored

This Is Agriculture - Sponsored

DataHub

DataHub

Auction Finder

Auction Finder

LAMMA 2020

LAMMA 2020

You are viewing your 1 free article

Register now to receive 2 free articles every 7 days or subscribe for unlimited access.

Subscribe | Register

Farm partnership fined £100,000 after employee killed in tractor accident

A north Cumbria farm partnership has been fined £100,000 for breaching health and safety law after an employee died in a tragic tractor accident.

TwitterFacebook
Stephen Toppin
Stephen Toppin

Stephen Toppin, a 57-year-old farm labourer, suffered fatal head injuries while working at Wragmire Bank, near Cumwhinton, Carlisle, on the morning of January 26 last year.

 

Mr Toppin - whose main job was to rear calves - stepped out of a shed and directly into the path of a tractor towing a trailer as it travelled through a narrow passageway which ran between buildings on the busy dairy farm.

 

Carlisle Crown Court heard how the teenage tractor driver was "not in any way at fault".

 

Following the tragedy, farm partnership J. S. Wood and Son was charged with - and admitted - a health and safety breach. It accepted failing to ensure that the the farm workplace was "organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles could circulate in a safe manner".


Read More

Campaign launched to highlight importance of farm safetyCampaign launched to highlight importance of farm safety
Family-owned farming business fined after employee seriously injuredFamily-owned farming business fined after employee seriously injured
Farm company fined after worker dragged into threshing machineFarm company fined after worker dragged into threshing machine
Farm partners fined after young father killed in 'tragic incident'Farm partners fined after young father killed in 'tragic incident'
Farmer on trial for manslaughter after death of young female volunteerFarmer on trial for manslaughter after death of young female volunteer

Prosecutor David Temkin said: "The defendant hadn’t undertaken any - or any proper - workplace transport risk assessment." Had that been undertaken, it would have identified calf shed exits leading directly into the main traffic route, creating the "highest risk area".

 

"At the time of the accident there was no segregation of vehicles and pedestrians, no demarcation and no signage to ensure that employees were warned about - and prevented from coming into contact with - moving vehicles," said Mr Temkin.

 

A risk assessment, he added, would also have taken into account that Mr Toppin was 70 per cent deaf, and wore a hearing aid.

 

J. S. Wood and Son had since "entirely" complied with improvement notices issues by the Health and Safety Executive, introducing warning signs, railing and speed limits - and gone "over and above" its obligations by creating a pedestrian walkway to maximise site safety for all.

 

Elizabeth Dudley Jones mitigated for the partnership - represented in court by 63-year-old John Wood.

John Wood outside Carlisle Crown Court
John Wood outside Carlisle Crown Court

"It is a small family unit and the loss of Mr Toppin felt like a member of the family," she said, stating that Mr Wood’s farm had since been sold.

 

"This is a man who is still to this day incredibly distressed about what happened, and why it happened."

 

Imposing a £100,000 fine and £7,310.80 costs, Judge James Adkin said his powers were constrained by sentencing guidelines.

 

He said: "Nothing in the sentence I can pass could undo the upset and suffering of Mr Toppin’s surviving family and others who knew him well."

TwitterFacebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

Most Recent

Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS