With the wide range of machinery used on farms, many with sharp blades, revolving rollers or chopping devices it is no wonder that 11% of work related injuries in the agricultural industry were machine related, according to the latest Health & Safety Executive figures.

Martin White, Partner in the PI and Clinical Negligence Department in Exmouth, outlines your rights to compensation if you have been injured as a result of operating farming machinery.

Employers’ duties

Despite the inherent perils of working on a farm, all employers have a legal duty to assess the risks associated with every employee’s role and put reasonable health and safety measures in place to prevent injury.

If, therefore, your employer had you working on a piece of machinery without providing you with the right training or safety equipment, such as protective gloves or eyewear, or if they had not checked to ensure the machinery was safe to use and free from faults, and you were injured as a result, they could be held responsible for the injuries you suffered.

Types of machinery-related farming accidents

Accidents can happen in any situation, but farmers have a duty to ensure that the machinery they expect workers to use is equipped with the correct safety guards and is maintained in good working order.

Dangerous machinery with exposed blades, rollers or shaft, should have protective shields installed to ensure limbs, clothing and hair are not dragged into the machinery.

These machines are also powered by a variety of sources, all of which can cause injury if they develop a fault, with high pressure hydraulic oil leaks capable of causing burns, crush injuries could result from hydraulic lift failures, and workers can be trapped if an electrical stopping device breaks down.

A poorly maintained tractor can be a potential death trap if not properly maintained. Those with defective tyres, axles or wheels are more likely to roll and injure both driver and anyone in its path.

How a personal injury solicitor can help

If you have suffered a machinery-related farming injury, it is important to contact a specialist personal injury lawyer straightaway. They will help you gather the evidence you need, including medical reports and witness statements, to establish your case.

You can strengthen your case by providing as much evidence about your accident as possible, including photos of the scene and your injuries, details of potential witnesses and a written account of what happened. You should also keep a record of medical treatment and a list of any expenses you have incurred as a result of your injury.

Your solicitor will negotiate with your employer’s insurers on your behalf to secure the financial settlement you deserve.

You may be able to claim compensation for:

  • pain and suffering;
  • loss of earnings;
  • medical expenses;
  • loss of potential earnings;
  • out of pocket expenses; and
  • adaptations required to your home.


For further information, please contact Martin White, a Partner in the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Department, on 01395 280388 or martinwhite@wbw.co.uk. WBW Solicitors has offices in Newton Abbot, Exeter, Torquay, Paignton, Bovey Tracey, Launceston, Honiton, Exmouth and Sidmouth.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published. For all your legal needs, contact WBW Solicitors today.