Hereford farm worker in tractor tragedy

Hereford Times: Forensics investigate the scene in Hampton Bishop following Mr Rees’ death. Forensics investigate the scene in Hampton Bishop following Mr Rees’ death.

A FARM worker died after falling beneath machinery as he attempted to climb onto a colleague’s tractor, an inquest heard this week.

Geraint Rees, 40, had been working and living at Court Farm, Hampton Bishop.

Originally from Haverfordwest, Mr Rees had been ploughing a field at the farm on the day he died on October 31, 2013.

The Hereford hearing heard that a colleague, Neville Rogers, was following behind on a tractor which was attached to a combination drill.

After eating together in Mr Rogers’ vehicle, Mr Rees had returned to his own tractor.

But when Mr Rogers looked around shortly after he saw what he thought was an animal that had been run over.

It was when he jumped out of the tractor that he realised his friend had been killed.

Mr Rogers told the inquest that the previous day, Mr Rees had jumped into his friend’s tractor and had already been warned of the dangers.

The ground was incredibly uneven, Mr Rogers said, and it had been “pitch black”.

Detective Inspector Martyn Barnes said it was “impossible”

to deliver a conclusive explanation.

However, it was likely that Mr Rees had slipped while attempting to mount his colleague’s tractor.

It was possible he had fallen into the gap between the front wheel and steps or tripped on uneven ground and fallen beneath the rear wheel. His body would then have been caught under the drill.

Christopher Gregory, from the Health and Safety Executive, agreed that Mr Rees had attempted to climb onto his friend’s tractor while it was moving, without Mr Rogers’ knowledge.

Pathologist Dr Mark Hayes said that 83 forensic specimens were examined following Mr Rees’ death. He concluded that Mr Rees died from multiple injuries with an antecedent cause of trauma.

A jury of seven delivered a verdict of accidental death.

  • The Health and Safety Executive said in a statement following Monday’s inquest that its investigation would continue and a decision on the next steps would be taken in due course. The inquest heard that no risk assessments or procedures had been put in place for operations on the farm.

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