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Farm fined after employee dies from fall

14 October 2019

A FARM has been fined after an employee fell from height whilst loading a straw spreader as part of the daily bedding up operation for the farm’s animals.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 14 July 2018, an employee of A Kirkham & Son, received injuries and subsequently died in hospital from those injuries, whilst working at height to load a straw spreader at Rushey Fields Farm, Woodhouse Eaves, Loughborough. The employee was loading the spreader with straw and fell from a ladder whilst cutting strings from a bale of straw. The employee was found on the ground, having fallen from height. He suffered serious, fatal head injuries from the fall.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was no suitable and sufficient risk assessment or safe system of work in place for this operation. It was possible for the task to be carried in other ways and avoid working from a ladder.

A Kirkham & Son, of Farm Rushey Lane, Loughborough pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The farm has been fined £12,000, and ordered to pay costs of £6296.32.

After the hearing HSE inspector Jenna McDade said, “This incident could have been avoided had the operation been properly risk assessed and a safe system of work been put in place.

“Businesses should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate action against those that fall below the required standard.”