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Teenage farm worker dies clearing blockage in grain bin

Jedburgh Sheriff Court heard how Zach Dean Fox, 19, was working for Seamore Farming at their premises at Deanfoot farm in Hawick. The court was told that large metal containers known as bins were used on the farm for storing grain during harvest time.

There was an exit space at the bottom of the bin to allow the grain to escape onto a chain conveyor belt. The bins needed to be cleaned out before moving from one type of grain to another, which the court was told happened around four times a year.

It is not uncommon for blockages to occur in the exit holes at the bottom of the bin and Mr Fox was trying to clear such a blockage from within the bin while it still contained a quantity of grain. He became immersed in the free flowing grain and died as a result of asphyxiation.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found the system of work in place to clear blockages in the grain bin was inherently and obviously unsafe.

Seamore Farming, of Deanfoot Farm, Denholm, Hawick, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £45,000.

Added: 29-02-2016
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