March 2018 - Velcourt

Company








Incident:

A van crashed into a tree down a straight, but fast country lane one midweek evening. The surrounding fields and local farm yard are Velcourt managed. The driver of the van was seriously injured and was rushed to hospital. Twenty four hours later the Farm Manager received a phone call from the police stating that from the look of photos, there may have been mud on the road deposited from a tractor which may have influenced this RTA. The officer proceeded to mention possible future corporate manslaughter charges. The Farm Manager immediately checked the road; no mud was found caused by an agricultural vehicle. However there were small deposits of mud on the road from where the car hit the verge before crashing. As a precaution the Farm Manager reported this incident to the farm’s insurers. No contact has since been made to either party.

It is clear that the driver was driving too fast and lost control, so hopefully nothing will come of this incident. However, it goes to show that if there was mud on the road which had any small part to play in this incident, it can escalate quickly, particularly with the ‘blame and claim’ world we live in now.


Incident:

Whilst loading a lorry with grain, the toe tip bucket became detached from the loader tractor and fell into the lorry it was loading. The bucket had been attached to the tractor that morning by a different operator and came off after five bucket loads had been emptied into the lorry. No one was injured, but the hydraulic pipes on the bucket were damaged and there was some minor damage to the lorry. Thankfully the grain which had already been loaded cushioned the fall.

All operators are reminded of the importance of checking when you secure any loader attachment and if you use a machine, do not assume the attachment has been connected properly.


Incident:

Whilst flailing an overgrown hedgerow, a piece of debris escaped the guards of the machine and it was sent into oncoming traffic, smashing the windscreen of the oncoming vehicle. The machine was new and all guards were correct.

The farm has introduced a policy that no hedgerow with over 3 years’ growth on a roadside should be cut by flail. All hedges are to be cut at least bi-annually and high risk hedges are to be cut at quiet times of the day.


Incident:

Whilst refuelling a tractor (STX 580) at night, the operator slipped of the steps whilst getting down from the fuel tank and landed heavily on the ground. The operator drove home and rang the Farm Manager, who took the employee to A&E who confirmed he had fractured the bone in his ankle and had incurred possible tendon damage. RIDDOR claim submitted.


Incident:

Whilst driving the telehandler on ice and pushing a pile of animal feed, the bucket caught the edge of the clamp that had an RSJ. The telehandler stopped suddenly and the operator hit the metal safety frame causing a cut 10cms long.

This is reminder to all that seat belts should be worn. Page 2 of 2 14 September 2017


Incident:

Whilst using a feeder wagon to feed cows, the employee was unable to get the last 100kg out so switched both machines off and climbed into the machine to manually extract the feed. In doing so, his hand struck one of the blades in the auger, causing a deep laceration to the top of his hand. RIDDOR claim submitted.

Follow up:

  1. a. This incident could have been prevented by wearing gloves.
  2. b. In future, employee advised to leave surplus feed in the feeder and not to try and extract manually.

Incident:

Whilst unloading feed/materials, a shepherd stepped backwards from his ATV trailer and rolled his ankle over. The employee was told to rest for three days to restrict swelling.


Incident:

Whilst cutting a cable tie with a pen knife, the employee slipped and cut his left arm.

Follow up:

  1. a. It is advised in the future that wire cutters or pliers are used for cutting ties – not knives.