Norfolk

Fincham grain silo death farm fined £50k after son's death

Hall Farm, Fincham Image copyright Google
Image caption Norwich Crown Court was told the grain acted like quicksand, trapping the 21-year-old

A firm owned by a man whose son suffocated when he fell into a grain silo has been fined £50,000.

Arthur Mason, 21, died at Hall Farm in Fincham, near Downham Market in Norfolk, in July 2014.

Mr Mason was wearing a safety lanyard designed to break his fall but instead it extended to twice its length, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Silo cleaning was behind schedule the firm Maurice Mason Ltd, which admitted health and safety law breaches, said.

The firm was also ordered to pay £22,000 in costs.

'Alarmingly common'

Mr Mason was working inside the grain-filled drum at the time of the accident, the court was told.

The court heard the grain acts like quicksand when a silo is emptied from below and once trapped it was impossible for Mr Mason to rescue himself.

Rescue attempts were made by another worker but the emergency services could not revive him.

His mother Kay Mason Billig urged farmers to "look hard at their safety procedures".

She said: "Farming accidents and accidents of this type involving enclosed spaces are alarmingly common."

Mark Ballysz, who represented the 21-year-old's father Hugh Mason in the case brought by the Health and Safety Executive, said no level of sentence could add to the punishment he has already suffered.

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