Farming company fined after threshing machine accident

A Devon farming company has been fined after a worker was dragged into a reed threshing machine.

John Dullam, 44, was working on the reed combing machine at Narracott Farm, South Molton, in March last year.

His overalls became entangled in the drum feed intake and pulled him into the machine. He suffered serious injuries.

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A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the drum belt feeding the mouth of the comber lacked effective guarding to prevent contact with the drum.

Following a blockage, Mr Dullam climbed up and over the top of the comber and stepped down onto the platform where the drum feeding mouth was located.

But the machine restarted, causing his protruding overalls to become entangled in the drum belt and he was drawn into the reed combing machine feet first.

Fined £6,000 

At Exeter Magistrates Court, Dullam & Co Farmers was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000, with a victim surcharge of £120, after admitting health and safety breaches.

Mr Dullam and his father, both from Bishops Nympton are co-directors of the company.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Mannell said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures for machinery guarding and safe working practices.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”