• Robert Spicer

Polish farm worker: arm amputated in potato grading machine: farm company fined

Arm amputation: farm company fined £15,000

Health and Safety Executive v WB Daw & Son (2016) Stafford magistrates’ court, January 27

A farm company has been fined following an incident in which a worker slost an arm in the rollers of a potato grading machine.

Significant points of the case

  • In November 2013 Marek Walisewski, a Polish worker, was cleaning the rollers of a potato grading machine at a farm in Staffordshire. The farm was operated by WB Daw & Son.

  • His duties included operating, cleaning and clearing blockages on the machine. He sat down under the rollers to clean them while they were moving, using a long screwdriver. The rollers drew his left arm into the machine. The crush injuries resulted in his arm having to be amputated.

  • Unsafe work systems were being used which involved cleaning and clearing blockages from the rollers while they were rotating under power.

  • The company had failed to give clear instructions to workers and failed to monitor their activities.

The farm company was fined £15,000 plus £25,000 for breaches of section 2, HSW Act, for failing to ensure the health and safety of employees, and under regulation 3, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, for failing to carry out a suitable risk assessment.

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