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Ignoring known risks ends in fine for farm manager

08-04-2013

Picture taken by a worried passer-by at Newton Valence Farm that was then passed to HSE

A Hampshire farm manager has been prosecuted after he was caught on camera putting two workers at risk by using the grain bucket on a telehandler to lift them up to a barn roof.

The dangerous practices of Peter Kirby, 62, of Newton Valence Farm, near Alton, were spotted and photographed by a concerned passer-by on 14 February 2012 and passed to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The incident was investigated and Mr Kirby appeared at Aldershot Magistrates’ Court on 4 April, charged with breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The court was told that Mr Kirby, a farmer for more than 40 years, had put the two men at risk of injury or even death by using the bucket to raise them to work on the gable end of a barn.

Mr Kirby used the telehandler despite attending a safety day run by HSE less than a year before where a dummy had been dropped from a grain bucket attached to a forklift truck to demonstrate the risks.  

The court heard that although neither worker had been injured during the incident, Mr Kirby’s experience would have made him fully aware of the risks of using unsuitable work platforms, which are well understood in the agriculture industry.

Peter Kirby, of Woodside, Newton Valence Farm, Newton Valence, Alton, was fined £330 and ordered to pay £1,757 in costs after admitting a breach of Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

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