Farming partnership fined after worker seriously injured in fall
23rd January 2014
A farming partnership from Suffolk was fined on January 21st after one of its workers fell from height and was seriously injured.
The unnamed Woodbridge resident, who was 67, was hospitalised for nine days and unable to work for four months after being injured while working for Manns Potatoes Partnership on November 5th 2012.
They were working at Stangrove Hall Farm and had been asked to pick up some seed potatoes with a colleague. To access the potatoes from a six-metre high stack of boxes, the employee stood in a potato box that had been balanced on a forklift truck’s forks, with the forks then being lifted.
While the forks were lowering, the employee asked a colleague to stop while they removed a curtain that protected the seeds.
When the forklift restarted, the potato box he was stood in became unbalanced and he fell three metres. The forklift truck operator found the worker unconscious and prone on the ground.
When the victim was taken to hospital, it emerged they had broken a shoulder blade, chipped two vertebrae, fractured seven ribs, cracked the pelvic cradle and seriously injured their head. These serious injuries show that they could easily have died.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspection revealed that the company had provided appropriate workplace safety training and had a suitable system of work in place for access to the potato seeds. However, it had not checked to ensure that these workplace safety systems were being followed.
Christopher Mann, Alexis Mann and Richard Mann, of Hill Farm and Stangrove Hall Farm, were jointly fined £3,000 and told to pay costs of £993 including a victim surcharge, after each individually admitted breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, section 2(1).
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