Skip to content

Fleet Health and Safety

Prosecution- Training, supervision and failing to assess the risks to young persons


A farmer has been prosecuted following an accident to a 16 year-old boy who had to have his leg amputated after he slipped while trying to climb onto a tractor that was being driven by the farmer’s 14 year-old son.

The pair were power harrowing and the 16 year-old had dismounted from the tractor. As he climbed back onto the moving tractor he lost his footing and fell under the rear wheels of the tractor and was then run over by the harrow. His leg was so badly damaged that it had to be amputated below the knee.

The Health and Safety Commission’s Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) “Preventing accidents to children in agriculture” makes it clear that the person permitting a young person to operate a tractor must ensure that no other young person is on the tractor.

In addition, it lists certain types of machines, which have a high level of risk and which young persons of compulsory school age (ie under 16 years of age) should not be permitted to use. This includes ‘machines incorporating power-driven soil engaging parts’ such as a power harrow.


The farmer was prosecuted under S3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for failing to prevent a young person driving a tractor from carrying another young person as a passenger, and for allowing a young person under school compulsory age to use a power harrow.

He pleaded guilty and was fined £5,000 plus £1,200 towards the cost of bringing the prosecution.


The ACOP restricts specific tasks and also requires that a risk assessment be undertaken which takes account of the individual capabilities of each young person, in terms of their health and safety, before they are allowed to undertake any form of task.

Both boys should not have been on the tractor together and there are no circumstances where it is acceptable for a 14 year-old to operate a tractor with an attached power harrow or similar power-driven machine.

Whilst young people over 13 years old are legally allowed to drive tractors once trained, they must be adequately instructed and closely supervised by an adult in any task that they undertake.The ACOP can assist parents and employers in assessing and pointing out what they may be capable of and are permitted to do under the relevant legislation.

On average, three people a month do not make it home to their families. That’s three families who won’t be sharing any more time together with their loved one.

Investment into Farm Safety training  raises awareness of the hazards and risks in the agriculture industry. Training is also a legal requirement

Our team at Fleet Health & Safety have many years experience in agriculture and farming. In fact, it is our speciality.
We can provide Farm Safety Awareness Training bespoke to your farm and delivered onsite at your own premises

Fleet Health & Safety  have produced a Farm Safety Training DVD available to purchase on our website.

Filmed on real working farms across SW Scotland and produced in collaberation with #ifilmu video productions 

The DVD is suitable for farm owners, managers and employees alike.

It covers all the main hazards you would encounter on a working farm and includes real life events from people who have experienced an accident or ill health during farm operations

 Despatched on DVD or USB. Can also be sent electronically

You can find more info here or take a sneak peak at the video clip below…/farm-safety…/

#farmsafety #teamfhs #keepingfarmerssafe #farmtraining