19 May 1995

Injured man fined for safety offence

A FARMER in Leicestershire has been fined £5000 after suffering severe injuries to his arm in a farm accident.

Arable farmer Fred Barber (51) Woodcock Farm, Rothley, was ordered to appear before Loughborough magistrates after trapping his arm in a potato harvester. He pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of his employees and was ordered to pay £828 costs on top of the fine.

The accident – which left Mr Barber in hospital for three weeks after 15 hours of surgery – has cost him nearly £7000 and left him disabled. He has lost the strength in his left arm.

"I was expecting a suspended sentence," said Mr Barber, who runs a 242ha (600-acre) arable unit and has been farming for more than 30 years. "I take my safety responsibilities to my workers very seriously. I was the only person who suffered and having to pay nearly £7000 after all that pain is unfair."

The accident happened when Mr Barber heard a noise coming from the harvester at the end of a days work. As he investigated, his arm became trapped in the machine.

The Health and Safety Executive said they had brought the case because workers on the farm could have suffered a similar accident