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Carmarthenshire farm and director prosecuted after farm worker is crushed to death by reversing telehandler (22 May 2017)

Date: 22/05/2017
Duncan Lewis, Personal Injury Solicitors, Carmarthenshire farm and director prosecuted after farm worker is crushed to death by reversing telehandler

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted a Carmarthenshire-based farm and its owner, after a farm worker was fatally crushed by a telehandler as it reversed.

On 31 July 2014, the 43-year-old farm worker was contracted to spread fertilizer on the farmer’s fields in Ferryside, but was struck by the reversing telehandler in the farmyard. He died from crush injuries sustained to his chest and body.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the farm had failed to maintain the machinery, for which the owner, Selwyn Richards, as the sole director, was directly responsible.

HSE investigators found that the machinery was in poor condition, with visibility compromised by dirty and badly positioned mirrors and dirty glass in the cab.

On Monday 15 May 2017 at Swansea Crown Court, Penhill Farm Limited and director Selwyn Andrew Thomas Richards were fined after Penhill Farm Limited of Ferryside Carmarthenshire pleaded guilty to a charge of Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Richards pleaded guilty to a charge of Section 37 of the Act.

Penhill Farm was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000 – no separate penalty was given to Richards as sole director.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Richardson said:

“This is a tragic incident which cost a popular family man his life.

“This case highlights the need and importance for duty holders to properly maintain dangerous machinery and vehicles – including mirrors and glass – to avoid fatal incidents such as this.”

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