South Scotland

Safety advice issued after death of farmer Jim Sharp

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

Safety guidelines have been issued following the death of a sheep farmer from the Borders.

Jim Sharp, 66, suffered multiple injuries in an accident at Newbigging Walls farm, near Lauder, in March.

A fatal accident inquiry heard that his shoe lace became entangled in a rotating blade inside a grain silo.

NFU Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive have reminded farmers to use the safe stop procedure when working with any agricultural machinery.

The guidelines include:

  • Put the handbrake on
  • Make sure the controls are in neutral and that the equipment is made safe
  • Stop the engine or turn off the power
  • Remove the key, or lock-off the power supply

They added that farmers should never enter a grain silo when the auger is running as several accidents have been caused when someone has become entangled in the sweep auger by a boot lace or clothing.

In addition, farmers were urged not to enter grain silos to clear blockages of any kind unless the power is isolated and there is no chance of bridging in the grain.

HSE inspector Hazel Dobb said: "The tragic death of Mr Sharp has once again brought home the dangers involved in the farming industry, particularly when working with agricultural machinery."

Mr Sharp was a former livestock convener of NFU Scotland and a prominent breeder of Blackface sheep.

NFU Scotland vice president Allan Bowie added: "Farming remains one of the most hazardous industries to work in and the loss of an important industry figure like Mr Sharp simply strengthens the union's resolve and commitment to work with others to improve our sector's health and safety record."

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