Devon Farming company sentenced after threshing machine incidentHSE logo

Dullam & Co (Farmers) Ltd have been fined today after a worker was dragged into a reed combing machine

Exeter Magistrate’s Court heard that on 24 March 2017, 44 year old John Dullam was working on the reed combing machine at Narracott Farm, South Molton, when his overalls became entangled in the drum feed intake (mouth of the thresher machine). His legs were pulled into the machine and became trapped. He suffered serious injuries as a result of the incident. Mr Dullam and his father, both from Bishops Nympton are co-directors of the company.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the drum belt feeding the mouth of the comber lacked effective guarding, preventing any person coming into contact with the drum. Following a blockage, Mr Dullam climbed up and over the top of the comber and stepped down onto the platform where the drum feeding mouth was located. The machine re-started causing his protruding coveralls to become entangled in the drum belt and he was drawn into the reed combing machine feet first.

Dullam & Co (Farmers) Ltd of Bishops Nympton, South Molton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equip Regs 1998, and have been fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,000 with a victim surcharge of £120.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Paul Mannell said:

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures for machinery guarding and safe working practices.

“Employers should make sure they properly assess and apply effective control measures to minimise the risk from dangerous parts of machinery.”