Police and HSE probe two separate farming deaths

Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating after two people were killed in farming-related activities in the run-up to Farm Safety Week.

Devon and Cornwall Police say they are investigating the death of a 33-year-old man on Tuesday (18 July).

Emergency services were called to the scene in Pitts Cross, Shebbear, following reports of a man trapped under a trailer at a farm.

See also: Agriculture has Britain’s highest fatal accident rate  

The man, named locally as Todd Riggs, from Holsworthy, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A police spokesman said: “Enquiries are underway and are being led by the serious collisions investigation unit.”

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust said: “We were called to the scene at 1.05pm on Tuesday.

“We attended with one ambulance and two rapid response vehicles. There was one casualty.”

An HSE spokeswoman said: “HSE is aware of the accident and is liaising with police.”

Industry tributes

Members of the farming community have paid tribute to Mr Riggs on Facebook.

Ed Ford, chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, said: “My thoughts go to Todd’s family, friends and all of Devon YFC at this awful time.

“A huge blow to all involved with promoting farm safety – please, please, please be careful in this very busy time.

“Carry out safety checks, make sure machines are in good working order, don’t cut corners and don’t rush. How many more lives need to be lost before our industry sorts out its safety record?”

Claire Bellew, Devon YFC county chairman, said on Wednesday: “Yesterday we lost a huge character within our Devon YFC family.

“Todd Riggs, you were always the life and soul of the party and always made people laugh. So many great memories with you at AGMs and ski trips!

“You will be missed by so many and this is a devastating reminder that we all need to take a minute and ensure we are safe out on farms during this busy time of year.”

Mr Riggs is the second Devon YFC member to die in tragic circumstances this year. Lauren Scott, 20, from Kenton, near Exeter, died following a farm machinery accident, near Dawlish, Devon, on 4 March.

Essex farmer killed

Meanwhile, police in Essex and the HSE are investigating the death of a farmer in Northwycke, Southminster.

A HSE spokeswoman said: “We have been notified by Essex Police about the death of a man on a farm in Northwycke on Wednesday (19 July).

“It was a work-related death. HSE is assisting with police on the investigation.”

NFU vice-president Guy Smith said: “The news of deaths involving farms reminds us of the importance of staying safe at this busy time of year.”

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