Farm Safety At Work Questioned After Death of Farm Worker At Leeds Farm

The issue of  farm safety at work was being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive following the death of a man on a farm on the outskirts of Leeds.

 The Police are also looking into the issues raised by the death of Robert Gawthorpe aged 24 years a the Calverly House Farm at Town Gate Calverly.

It is not yet clear whether there were breaches in health and safety on the farm but West Yorkshire Police did attend on Monday 16th September after being contacted by the ambulance services who were called to the farm.

It is also understood that the coroner has been informed as a result of the fatalities sustained in the incident. The victim was also confirmed as an employee of the farm

The investigation into the incident was being carried out as  joint one by the Police and the Health and Safety Executive.

The responsibility for farm safety at work is of course primarily down to the employer who is obliged to ensure that the worker has safe systems of work and safe colleagues. In addition the employer is required to comply with the normal regulations under the European Directives and a breach of these under normal circumstances can result in strict liability being applied if there is an accident on the farm resulting in injury or death.

At this stage it is not yet clear whether any of the systems were inadequate or any regulatory breaches.

The Health and Safety Executive seek to minimise any problems surrounding farm safety at work by providing regular Safety and Health Awareness days which are practical demonstrations covering the everyday hazards that farmers and their employees face.

Details of courses to assist in such farm work safety can be provided by the Health and Safety Executive who provide a diary of events country wide to make them as accessible as possible for as many parts of the country . These can be obtained by contacting agriculture.shads@hse.gsi.gov.uk. by e mail

Because of the complex and dangerous nature of farm equipment and the fact that often work is undertaken in difficult locations that are less easily regulated a full risk assessment of all aspects of any particular farm is normally required to cover regulatory issues.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) puts a duty on all employers, the self employed and people who are charged with control of work premises to report specific serious workplace accidents and incidents or near misses