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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Man loses hand in accident on Cumbrian farm

A farmer has lost a hand in an horrific accident.

Ashley Herbert, 24, was working on a farm at Cliburn, near Penrith, when he became entangled in a forage harvester.

He was airlifted to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary for specialist treatment, but lost his right hand up to the wrist.

Health & Safety Executive officers are investigating the circumstances.

Mr Herbert, a former student at Appleby Grammar School and the University of Cumbria, used Facebook to thank friends and well-wishers for their messages of support.

He is understood to be recovering at his home in Appleby. He was unavailable for comment.

In the wake of the accident, which happened last Tuesday, a warning has been issued about the dangers of working with machinery, especially in isolated areas.

Amanda Wallbank, Appleby group secretary of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), said: “Every farm accident results in a person suffering, and the family and friends who also operate the farm then have to try to deal with the consequences in order to keep the business functioning.

“It is essential that everyone in the industry plays their part – simple measures like telling someone what you are doing, taking a charged mobile phone in your pocket and knowing that a 999 call doesn’t need a signal from your provider can save your life.

“But it is also important that people take action to prevent accidents from occurring, like following the safe stop procedure (hand brake on, controls in neutral, engine off, keys out) and not cutting corners and taking risks such as when working at height or handling livestock,” she added.

Farming is still among the UK’s most dangerous professions, according to HSE statistics.

Although there has been a drop in the number of serious accidents in the workplace overall, farming continues to resist this trend.

Just over one in 100 workers works in agriculture, but the industry accounts for about one in five fatal injuries to workers.

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