Man fined after running over farmworker with tractor

A workshop foreman has been fined after he failed to make reasonable checks and struck a farmworker with his tractor.

Paul Robinson was driving a tractor when he stopped to speak to a farmworker at North East Farm, Eltisley, south Cambridgeshire, on 20 September 2017.

After their conversation, Mr Robinson went to drive away but, in the process, ran over the worker with the rear offside track of the tractor

See also: Farm Safety Week 2018 – top tips for good practice on farms

The worker suffered life-changing injuries as a result of this incident, including multiple fractures and nerve damage.   

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Robinson, of Rookery Road, Wyboston, Bedfordshire, had failed to make reasonable checks to ensure no one was in danger before he moved the tractor.

At Peterborough Magistrates’ Court, Mr Robinson pleaded guilty to breaching the health and safety at work regulations.

He was fined £1,200, ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and pay a victim surcharge of £120.

After the hearing HSE inspector Graeme Warden said: “This incident could have been avoided if a simple check around the vehicle had been carried out prior to moving off.”

Take steps to ensure tractor safety

On average, about a quarter of all workers killed on farms are involved with moving vehicles. All these people had families, friends and businesses that also suffered grief and loss as a result.

Be sure to follow four simple steps to ensure your safety:

  • Safe vehicle, safe site, safe driver.
  • Safe Stop procedure – the most important safety action of all. Engage handbrake, controls in neutral, switch off engine, remove key.
  • Safe on-road, safe off-road ­– the standards of vehicle maintenance are the same for both. 
  • Check those brakes, especially handbrakes and on trailers.