A company was fined £10,000 after a worker was injured while cleaning a silo, leading to the amputation of his lower leg.
Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court heard that the employee had been trying to clear a blockage in a wheat silo while working for Clynderwen and Cardiganshire Farmers Limited (CCF), a wheat and barley blending plant, on 9 July 2014.
As he entered the silo to clear the blockage, the rotating auger started to sweep and he was pulled down towards the centre of the silo. He managed to escape, but his clothing was caught and he was pulled down again. Most of his clothes were pulled off.
He managed to escape and switch off the auger before he was found.
He had suffered severe lacerations to his left foot and lower leg, which had to be amputated a week later.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was inadequate instruction and training into the electrical and mechanical isolation of the auger.
CCF was also ordered to pay costs of £1,396 after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
HSE inspector, Simon Breen, said: “The sweep auger that caused the damage to the employee was not adequately isolated, in practice, and the employees did not have sufficient information, instruction and training to safely carry out the annual cleanout of the grain silos.
“Duty holders should consider the risks posed by infrequent but necessary work activities as much as those of day to day procedures and practices.”