Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard how at a field near Frampton, Boston, Lincolnshire, netting was being removed from a crop on a field using a tractor mounted hydraulic net winding machine. The netting caught the glove of the worker on the ground, who was pulled onto the rotating reel and his head hit the metal frame work of the machine. He suffered a head injury and concussion.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that M Baker Produce Limited failed to properly plan the activity and a safe system of work was not defined. The machine was not fitted with a trip device to stop the rotation of the reel and prevent anyone getting caught by the netting being wound up onto the rotating reel. Nor was there an emergency stop device that could be reached from ground level.
M Baker Produce Limited pleaded guilty to being in breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) Regulation 11(1) by failing to ensure measures were taken that are effective to stop the movement of the machine before anyone enters a danger zone. The company also pleaded guilty to a breach of PUWER Regulation 16(1) by failing to provide a readily accessible emergency stop on the machine, and a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Regulation 3 (1) by failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the task. M Baker Produce Limited was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,800.
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