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Family fined after child was seriously injured in farming accident

It is the second incident involving a child to have taken place at the farm in Derbyshire
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The boy suffered deep lacerations to the top of his left foot which required plastic surgery
The boy suffered deep lacerations to the top of his left foot which required plastic surgery

A family has been fined £9,000 after a three-year-old boy was injured on a farm where another boy died.

 

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was at White House Farm, Offcote, near Ashbourne at harvest time when the accident happened in 2013.

 

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard the toddler was on the first floor of a barn with farmer Christopher Hammersley, who was moving grain around using a pair of augers, when his foot was pulled into one.

 

He suffered deep lacerations to the top of his left foot which required plastic surgery and several nights in hospital.

 

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HS) found the boy had accessed the first floor of the barn via a ladder.

 

As well as the dangers this posed, there were also open edges on the first floor, poor electrical insulation and significant levels of grain, dust and noise. The auger had a guard but such guarding is not designed for a child’s dimensions, the court heard.

 

Christopher Hammersley, his brother Daniel and their parents Ivan and Jane pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

 

The court was told it was the second incident involving a child at the farm. In 2009, a two-year-old boy was killed when he was hit by a telehandler.

HSE inspector Stuart Parry said: “Agriculture has one of the highest fatal incident rates of any industry. It is also the only high-risk industry that has to deal with the frequent presence of children. Farms are homes as well as workplaces.

 

“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 here and here.

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