Fatality on a farm due to breaches of Health and Safety Regulations – Robert Stevenson represents the HSE.Robert Stevenson
In August 2018, whilst at work at St Helen’s Farm in Seaton Ross, Janet McDonald was struck and killed by a reversing telehandler. She was 52 years of age.
The defendant, Yorkshire Dairy Goats Limited, farms in excess of 3500 goats for the production of a variety of dairy products.
Janet McDonald, who had mobility problems, had worked at the farm for thirty years, in a variety of roles.
On 1st August 2018, she opened a gate and entered one of the goat pens whilst a telehandler was inside, carrying out the task of mucking out.
Tragically, the telehandler reversed and struck Ms McDonald. As she lay gravely injured, she said that she thought the telehandler had been driving forwards and believed she could enter the pen and pass safely behind it. Sadly, she died later the same day.
The company was prosecuted for a variety of failures to keep its employees safe from the risks posed by its farmyard vehicles, including a failure to properly segregate pedestrians and vehicles throughout its site and a failure to put in place proper measures and training to keep its employees safe.
HHJ Thackray QC imposed a fine of £180,000, together with costs.
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