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Pair in Court over Labourer Crush Death

Accident On Farm


Two men who are accused over the death of a farm labourer crushed by machinery have appeared in court.

Father and son Roy Hill, 63, and Michael Hill, 31, are charged with the manslaughter of 17-year-old Lee Mason after he was dragged into a giant soil recycling machine in April last year.

The Hills, who run family business RE Hill & Son near Bristol, allegedly failed to place a protective guard on the soil-sifter Mr Mason was using.

The accident happened at Ridings Farm in Dundry, which is owned by the Hill family.

Avon Coroner's Court has previously confirmed that Mr Mason died when his neck was broken by the machine.

At Bristol Crown Court, the Hills, both of Ridings Farm, also face charges of failing to discharge a duty and contravening the Health and Safety Act. It is alleged they failed to adequately train the teenager on how to use the machine.

No pleas were entered and a provisional trial date was set for January 12, 2009. The pair were remanded on unconditional bail.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "Accidents on farms remain a major source of injuries to workers. This horrific work accident demonstrates the consequences of farming accidents at work.

"Employers have a duty of care to provide a safe place and a safe system of work. They must provide suitable work equipment which includes adequate guarding for dangerous parts of machines.

"Sadly, I represent many people injured or killed in industrial accidents."