A 14 years old schoolboy had his hand trapped inside a grass baling machine while bagging and heat-sealing dried grass. The boy, on a works experience placement, broke three fingers of his right hand when the hydraulic side door on the baler trapped his hand as he thrust his arm up the discharge tube. The child had been set to work on the baler when a team member failed to turn up. He was not being supervised adequately at time of accident.
The farming company was prosecuted under section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to provide adequate instructions, training and supervision for a young person, and failing to ensure his safety while operating farm machinery.
Children are more vulnerable to injury than adults. Adequate instruction and training, appropriate to the physical and emotional maturity of the person being trained, should be provided for all pieces of equipment used on the farm - this is particularly important for young people. The company was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay £2,588 towards the cost of bringing the prosecution.