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Unmaintained handbrake


A farm worker was trapped between a straw chopper and a tractor and injured his legs. He was disconnecting the tractor from a straw chopper when the tractor rolled backwards trapping him between the tractor and the chopper. The rear jack on the chopper was broken and as a result worker was storing the chopper against a waste bedding pile. The hand brake on the tractor was broken allowing the tractor to roll backwards. He was trapped for about 2½ hours by his right thigh and had to be released by the fire brigade.


The farming company was prosecuted under regulation 5(1) of the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for failing to maintain the hand brake and failing to maintain the supporting jack on the straw chopper. The company pleaded guilty and was fined £5,500 together with £1,108 towards the prosecution's costs.


Regular planned maintenance of all equipment saves times and helps to reduce the chances of accidents happening.