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No procedure to avoid accident that lead to farmers death

Posted in: Falls from Heights Head and Brain Injuries Workplace Injuries Wrongful & Accidental Death 

Following the death of well-known farmer William Davidson (62), a sheriff has ruled that there was no procedure in place to prevent the workplace accident from happening. Mr Davidson died in January 2013 after he fell from a silage pile at his farm near Moffat. He had been pulling back plastic sheeting when the accident happened, causing him to fall from the 16ft silage pile. It was heard that Mr Davidson’s feet had become tangled in the sheeting.

Mr Davidson was a well-respected man in the farming world, having been a director of the Royal Highland Show and a chairman of Dumfries and Lockerbie Agricultural Show. Following the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001, Mr Davidson was forced to restart his cattle and sheep stock after they were wiped out. From this, he became a key member of a steering group that helped other farmers come out the other end of the crisis.

6ft of uncovered silage could be the solution

It was heard in court that Mr Davidson’s death was most likely caused by a serious head injury sustained in the fall.  The sheriff said that had some silage been left uncovered, this could have broken the farmer’s fall. He said that having around 6ft of silage uncovered during these duties could prevent the accident from repeating itself. He continued:

“If that were implemented, even if a person were to fall over, there would be 6ft of silage left to fall upon, much reducing and hopefully eliminating the risk of falling over the edge.”

Health and Safety Executive inspector Lesley Hammond agreed that this would be a good solution to the problem.

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