Suitable braking


An active partner in a farming business was prosecuted when a tractor fitted with a loader and trailer carrying a load of bales went out of control on a steep track and overturned. A bale was thrown through a hedge onto a public road causing a road traffic accident. The trailer had been constructed at the farm without a suitable braking system, ie it was foreseeable that it would not impart any weight transfer onto the braking wheels of the tractor.


The farmer was prosecuted under regulation 10 (1) of the Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 for failing to prevent a foreseeable risk when reasonably practicable precautions were available to avert the said risk. He pleaded guilty and was fined £1,000 plus prosecution costs of £343. In passing sentence the bench took into consideration that it was his first offence and the poor financial state of the business but were also mindful of the severity of the incident.

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