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Cornish tractor sales firm fined for worker’s injuries

Date:
6 December 2013

An agricultural vehicle sales company has been fined for breaking safety legislation after an employee received multiple skull fractures in a fall at work. 

Jacob Wingett, 28, from Treburley, near Launceston, was fitting a number plate to the top of a tractor cab on 1 May 2012 when he lost his balance and fell about a metre to the ground causing serious injuries. 

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted B&B Agricultural Sales Ltd at Truro Magistrates’ Court today (6 December). 

The court heard that Mr Wingett was working at the company’s site on Doublebois Industrial Estate, Dobwalls, near Liskeard. He was standing on the cross shaft arms at the back of the tractor when he fell, resulting in one broken and one shattered wrist, two broken arms and multiple skull fractures. He underwent several operations to put pins and plates in both arms and was unable to work for over a month. 

HSE found B&B Agricultural Sales Ltd had not provided any measures to prevent Mr Wingett falling. There was no plan for the work, no safe system of working and no suitable training or supervision. 

B&B Agricultural Sales Ltd, of Tamar Ridge, Cox Park, Gunnislake, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £8,142 in costs. 

HSE Inspector Gareth Cottle, speaking after the hearing, said: 

“Mr Wingett’s serious injuries could have been avoided with some simple measures including planning the work properly, providing proper equipment, such as a platform to work on and adequate training and supervision. 

“Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures are put in place to protect staff from the risks.           

“There is no excuse for employers failing to safeguard workers who have to work at height.” 

Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/falls

Notes to Editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”