Agricultural contractor fined €65,000 following serious injury to farmer with unguarded farm machinery

On Thursday 25th April in Cork Circuit Court, Judge Martin fined an agricultural contractor €65,000 for health and safety offences arising from the devastating incident during which a farmer had his right hand substantially amputated in a fertiliser spreader that was brought to his farm.

The dairy farmer sustained serious life-changing injury in late June 2021, following an incident with an unguarded fertiliser trailer that was attached to a spreader.  The fertiliser trailer was purchased complete with the CanAgro auger system. When supplied, the CanAgro auger was fitted with a guard, to prevent contact with moving parts. However, in October 2020 the contractor removed this guard for operational reasons. The removal of this guard then led to this serious life-changing injury.

The agricultural contractor pleaded guilty to both Section 12 contrary to Section 77(9) (a) and Section 12 contrary to section 77 (2)(a) of the SHWW Act 2005 and following prosecution was served with a substantial fine.

Pat Griffin, Senior Agriculture inspector, HSA, commentedThis preventable injury is a reminder that there are potentially serious risks when operating or working with farm machinery.  Risk assessments must be carried out by the duty holder and all preventative measures put in place to ensure any operator or person working with machines will not be placed at risk of injury.. In this case we saw a farmer has suffered a life changing injury that could have been easily prevented.