A farm owner has been handed a conditional discharge and made to pay over £1,000 after a worker was seriously injured in an incident involving a piece of machinery.
At Telford Magistrates’ Court, George Edward Jones, 66, of Hordley, Shropshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after an incident last year, which left a farm worker with a fractured shoulder blade and needing dozens of stitches.
Injury at work
The 27-year-old farm worker, who has asked not to be named, was injured as he was trying to clear a blockage caused by wet grain from inside a grain drying machine.
He was working at GH and Dp Jones’ Red Hall Farm in Hordley, Shropshire at the time.
Magistrates heard how the blockage had formed near to a piece of machinery called an auger screw, which is responsible for spreading the grain through the machine.
The Health and Safety Executive, which launched an investigation into the incident, explained that the worker and Mr Jones had tried to clear the blockage using wooden poles, switching off the power to the auger screw beforehand.
They were unable to unblock the machine, but some time later, the worker returned to try and unblock it with his hands. He was unaware that power to the auger screw had been turned back on and he was sucked into the machine, trapping his head and torso between the screw and the trough which it lay in.
The jam stopped the mechanism but the worker was left trapped in the machinery and struggling to breathe. Eventually he was freed when colleagues cut away the the auger with an angle grinder.
Unable to work
Following the accident, the man was left with lacerations to his arm, head and back which required 44 stitches, 73 staples and a blood transfusion. His shoulder was fractured and the tendons in his right hand were damaged.
His injuries meant he could not work for six weeks but he has since resumed his job.
Mr Jones was sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge with £1,091 costs.