• Robert Spicer

Farm boy leg amputation in vehicle incident

Farm boy leg amputation: £10,000 fine

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service v J Kelly and Sons (2017) Dumfries Sheriff Court, August 15

Statutory reference: regulation 3 of the Prevention of Accidents to Children in Agriculture Regulations 1998 (PACAR)

The facts

· In October 2015 an eight-year old boy was sitting on the back of an all-terrain vehicle on his parents’ farm in Kirkbean, Scotland. The vehicle was being used to cut grass.

· The boy fell from the vehicle and suffered serious leg injuries. The leg was amputated below the knee.

· The driver of the vehicle had not been trained in its use and the company which operated the farm had allowed the boy to ride on it on previous occasions.

The decision

J Kelly and Sons, the company which operated the farm, was fined £10,000 for a breach of PACAR.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that the company had taken no action to ensure that the boy was kept separate from the farm’s business activities. Legislation prohibiting children under 13 from riding on machines such as ATVs protects them from these dangers. Sadly, all too often this is ignored.

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