Daylesford Organic fined over worker crushed under tractor
Multi-millionaire owners of 'Harvey Nicks of Cotswolds' told to pay £90,000 after health and safety failures
Saturday 12 December 2009
An organic farm owned by the wife of the multi-millionaire industrialist Sir Anthony Bamford was ordered to pay more than £90,000 yesterday after one of its employees died because of a relaxed attitude to safety.
Daylesford Organic farm shop has become a favourite haunt of health-conscious celebrities and nicknamed "the Harvey Nicks of Cotswolds".
Gardener Tony Cripps, 57, was crushed under a JCB while he tried to collect elderflower from the farm to make lemonade for the owner Carole Bamford. Gloucester Crown Court heard that Mr Cripps, a much-loved former publican and founder of a local rugby club, had been working part time at the farm for just two months when he was killed in June 2007.
Along with another employee, he was riding in the bucket of the digger when it hit a bump or a rut and he was thrown out and under the front wheel. "Sadly, a relaxed safety culture at this particular farm had meant that the practice of using telehandler buckets as work platforms had become acceptable practice despite the obvious risks. Consequently, the use of the bucket for collecting elderflower was not exceptional, but for Anthony Cripps it proved fatal," Health and Safety Executive Inspector Caroline Bird said after the case.
Sir Anthony and Lady Bamford were not in court yesterday as the Judge, William Hart, fined Daylesford Organic Farms Limited £65,000 with £27,500 costs after it pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Speaking on behalf of Mr Cripps' family, who have launched a civil action, solicitor Stuart Henderson said: "Daylesford has built a high-class reputation for providing fine quality produce at premium prices. However, behind the scenes, it would appear that the same ethos did not extend to its own workers and health and safety measures and proper training would appear to have been anything but first-rate."
Adrian Darbishire, defending, said the company "set out to achieve the very highest standards in everything that it did" – but some aspects of health and safety management had not reached that standard.
He revealed that, despite its fame and status, the farm which, despite employing around only 20 people, had a turnover of £700,000 in 2006 but was a "heavily loss-making business".
Mr Darbishire added: "The Bamford family have invested very substantial assets – numbering millions of pounds – to try to establish this as a lasting project."
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£20000 - £27000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst - (Active Di...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...
£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...