Wighill farmers fined after man’s death

Leeds Magistrates' Court.
Leeds Magistrates' Court.

A retired farmworker died instantly after being run over by a farmer driving a JCB telescopic loader with retricted visibility, a court heard.

On February 22 2017, the deceased was struck by a telescopic loader being driven by farmer Anthony Ackroyd, Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard.

The incident occurred at Waller House Farm in Wighill, Tadcaster when Mr Ackroyd was driving the JCB telescopic loader carrying three bales of hay on the front, severely restricting forward visibility.

He could not see the deceased and drove over him, killing him instantly, the court heard.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the deceased had been previously employed on the farm before his retirement, and lived in a cottage adjacent to the farm.

He was a regular visitor to the farm, carrying out work such as gardening.

In addition, Mr Ackroyd was carrying an employee of the farm who was standing on the mounting step of the vehicle in such a way that had he slipped off the step, he would have fallen directly under the wheels of the machine.

Farming partnership B A L Ackroyd has been sentenced for safety breaches following the fatal incident.

B A L Ackroyd of Waller House Farm, Wighill Park, Tadcaster, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) and Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The company has been fined £18,000 and ordered to pay £10,690 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Julian Franklin commented: “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident.

“Drivers should ensure that they can always see in front of them or take equally effective precautions.

“Vehicles at work continue to be a major cause of fatal and major injuries; every year there are over 5000 incidents involving transport in the workplace. About 50 of these result in people being killed.”