South Scotland

Death inquiry hears how Lauder farmer got entangled in grain machine

Jim Sharp Image copyright Robert Fairburn
Image caption Mr Sharp died as a result of multiple injuries after getting dragged into the grain machine

A fatal accident inquiry has heard how a Borders farmer was dragged into a grain machine after his boot lace got entangled in it.

Jim Sharp, 66, died of multiple injuries after entering a barley silo at Newbigging Walls Farm near Lauder.

Selkirk Sheriff Court heard it was not known how his lace had come into contact with the machinery.

Sheriff Peter Paterson made no recommendations as a result of the incident in March this year.

Sgt Graeme Shearer said in a statement read out to the court that he was called to the farm to recover the body from the silo and had been told there had been no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

He explained how he located and cut a metal blade in the auger machine - used to move grain - and unwound clothing from the screw including badly shredded navy overalls and jeans.

Sgt Shearer concluded that a lace was the first thing that had become entangled with the rotating blade.

Health and Safety Executive Inspector Hazel Dobb said Mr Sharp was a self-employed farmer with no employees and no enforcement action needed to be taken.

She added the electricity supply should have been isolated before the silo was entered to remove the power from the auger.

No recommendations

Summing up, procurator fiscal Louise Graham said: "The cause of the accident resulting in the death is that it appears Mr Sharp entered the grain silo but there is no evidence why that is the case.

"There may well have been a problem with the sweep auger on that date.

"When in the grain silo his boot lace has become entangled within the sweep auger."

She added it was not known how the lace came into contact with the machinery.

Delivering his determination Sheriff Paterson said that Mr Sharp was pronounced dead at 14:25 on 17 March at his farm and that the cause of the death was a result of multiple injuries after his body became entangled with the rotating grain auger.

He made no recommendations.

He extended his sympathies to Mr Sharp's wife and two children who were in court for the 15-minute hearing.

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