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Worker Trapped Arm In Harvester

Worker Severely Injures Arm in Agricultural Accident


Worker Trapped Arm In Harvester

A university and a machine supplier have been fined after a worker's arm was severely injured when it was dragged into a harvesting machine.

Agency employee Gareth Keal was working on a tractor-mounted bulb harvesting machine supplied by Standen Engineering Limited at Warwick University's horticultural research site in Kirton, Boston, when the incident occurred.

Mr Keal, 28, from Boston, was sorting bulbs when his hand became stuck between rollers and he was pulled into the machine up to his shoulder. He sustained severe soft tissue damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments in his right arm in the incident on October 13, 2008.

The machine, which had been imported, was originally a potato harvester but had been modified before being supplied by Standen Engineering Ltd, of Station Road, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation found Standen Engineering failed to ensure the harvester satisfied essential health and safety requirements by preventing exposure to moving parts of the machinery. In addition, the university failed to take measures to prevent access to dangerous parts of the machinery.

Standen Engineering was fined £800 with £1,726.71 costs while the University of Warwick, Coventry, was handed a £3,000 fine with £2,091.20 costs at Boston Magistrates' Court.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "I welcome the fines imposed following this awful work accident. The agricultural industry is the second most likely industrial sector (behind construction) where a worker is likely to be killed in an accident at work. As such, I would urge employers and others responsible for workers safety, including suppliers of machinery, to do all they can to protect workers form injury or death in a work accident."