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May 13, 2022

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Farming company fined after fatality

Yorkshire Dairy Goats has been fined for safety breaches after a farm worker was run over and fatally wounded.

Janet McDonald, a 53-year-old employee of Yorkshire Dairy Goats, was struck by a reversing telescopic materials handler vehicle (telehandler) whilst working at St Helen’s Farm in York, on 1 August 2018, Hull Crown Court was told. She was seriously injured and air-lifted to Hull Royal Infirmary where she died later that day.

The HSE’s investigation found that when the employee had finished milking the goats, she walked through a corridor and stepped out into the path of the reversing telehandler. The driver was unable to see the worker so could not take action, and she was struck by the vehicle.

Yorkshire Dairy Goats of Seaton Ross, East Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £180,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sarah Taylor said: “Pedestrians and vehicles need to be kept apart at all work sites and this includes agriculture.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply segregating vehicles and pedestrians.”

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