The accident happened when netting was being removed from a crop near Frampton, Boston using a tractor mounted hydraulic net winding machine on June 27 2015, Lincoln Magistrates’ Court was told.
The worker, employed by M Baker Produce Ltd, caught his hand in the netting and was pulled onto the rotating reel. He hit his head on the metal framework of the machine, suffering a head injury and concussion.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the business had failed to plan effectively the activity and a safe system of work.
Trapped by the netting
The net winding machine was not fitted with a trip device to stop the rotation of the reel, in order to prevent workers being trapped by the netting and wound up onto the rotating reel.
Also, there was no emergency stop device that could be reached from ground level.
Commenting after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Giles said: “This incident was easily prevented and the injuries could have been more serious. Employers should make sure they properly plan work and apply effective control measures to minimise the danger from machinery.”
M Baker Produce Ltd pleaded guilty to being in breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) Regulation 11(1) by failing to ensure measures were taken to stop the movement of the machine before anyone enters a danger zone.
The company also pleaded guilty to a breach of PUWER Regulation 16(1) by failing to provide a readily accessible emergency stop on the machine, and a breach of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 Regulation 3 (1) by failing to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment for the task.
The business was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,800.
The firm is registered with Companies House as a grower of leguminous crops, oilseeds and cereals.