A farm worker from Cumbria has been awarded more than £70,000 in compensation after sustaining a serious injury at work seven years ago.
The accident occurred in September 2003, when farm worker Stephen Hyndman was harvesting potatoes under the employment of contractor William Brown.
The 28-year-old noticed that the machine he was using had become blocked, and stepped down in order to clear it. However, his colleague had not properly cut the power to the machine, and Mr Hyndman was dragged into the machine after his trousers were caught. His leg and foot were crushed and seriously injured, leaving him permanently disabled.
Mr Hyndman pursued his employer for compensation, and the court agreed that Mr Brown was “vicariously liable” for the accident and its consequences. This was in addition to breaching the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998). Mr Brown was ordered to pay his former employee £71,000 in compensation, presumably using his employers’ liability insurance.
A specialist in personal injury, Simon Davis, commented on the case:
“Accidents in the agricultural industry tend to cause serious personal injury. The power of the machinery involved and the fact that it is set up on a temporary basis can mean that safety checks are not made.
“Given that farm work goes on all year round and in all conditions, extra vigilance is necessary to prevent occurrences which can be tragic for all concerned, including the employer.”