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Farm Worker Fined For Running Over His Employer


A farm worker in Derbyshire has today been fined after he reversed a tractor over his 73-year old employer, leaving him dead.

John Peter Metcalfe of Beech Drive, Ashbourne, Derbyshire was driving at speed when the incident happened on 25 April 2007. He pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 (a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

At Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court today, Mr Metcalfe was fined 450 and ordered to pay costs of 1000 for his role in the incident at White Meadow Farm, Moor Lane, Osmaston, in Ashbourne.

The court heard that Mr Metcalfe had returned to the farm at the end of the day to park the tractor, which was attached to a muck spreader. He was reversing through the farmyard in the vehicle with restricted visibility, when he ran over his employer.

Edward Arthur Fox, who was 73, later died of his injuries.

Mr Metcalfe had received a number of previous warnings about driving at speed. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation also revealed a four and a half metre skid mark on the ground where Mr Metcalfe had tried to stop the vehicle after hitting Mr Fox.

HSE inspector Dr Samantha Farrar said:

This was a tragic case where the actions of one farm worker ultimately left his employer dead.

Mr Metcalfe had already been warned about driving the tractor at speed around the farm, but sadly did not take this advice on board.

I cannot stress enough the importance of watching out for other people and keeping speed down when driving tractors, especially when visibility is restricted.

  1. HSE is Britains national regulator for workplace safety and health. It aims to reduce injuries and illness in the workplace.

  2. Section 7 (a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states: It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work.

  3. Advice on health and safety on farms can be found on the HSE website at:

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