Firm fined £25,000 after farm tragedy

PUBLISHED: 10:56 23 August 2007 | UPDATED: 15:14 12 May 2010

St Albans Crown Court

St Albans Crown Court

A MACHINERY company has been fined £25,000 after one of its employees died in an accident at a farm in Buntingford. Allmet Machinery Ltd, based in Leeds, was prosecuted at St Albans Crown Court by the Health & Safety Executive for a breach of Section 2 (1

A MACHINERY company has been fined £25,000 after one of its employees died in an accident at a farm in Buntingford.

Allmet Machinery Ltd, based in Leeds, was prosecuted at St Albans Crown Court by the Health & Safety Executive for a breach of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Arthur Lawson, 50, from Keyingham, near Hull, died at Cherry Green Farm on November 29, 2005.

Mr Lawson, a visiting service engineer, became entangled in moving parts of a grain dryer.

HSE Inspector Stephen Manley said afterwards: "This was a serious breach of obligation to its staff, indicative of failure by the company to appreciate the risks from such work, which inevitably involved access to dangerous moving parts of machines, and the need to access high parts of such machinery.

"Arthur Lawson's tragic and wasteful death could and should have been avoided by straightforward safety precautions."

The company failed to provide and maintain a safe system of work, and did not take adequate measures to control the risk of access to the moving parts which were exposed once Mr Lawson had removed panels during the service.

HSE said that the existing method of access involved a 'grossly unsafe' and inappropriate working platform.

Inspector Manley added: "This case illustrates how things can go tragically wrong when risks are not properly controlled, and HSE will not hesitate to take action against those who fall short of the law in such a way.


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