Farm worker’s death leads to prosecution over exposure to toxic gases
A Dorset farm owner and his two businesses have been fined for serious safety failings after a 29 year-old worker died following exposure to toxic gases in 2009
Dorchester Crown Court heard today (23 Feb 2015 ) that Matthew Pitt and David Bartlett were working at Lowbrook Farm when they were exposed to toxic gases during maintenance of an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant at the farm. On 24 June 2009, Mr Pitt and Mr Bartlett, were tasked with opening the roof of the digester tank to free a stirring mechanism which had stopped moving due to a crust forming in the tank. As they did so, they were engulfed by toxic hydrogen sulphide gas.
Both men lost consciousness and when Mr Bartlett came round he found Mr Pitt lying next to him but could not get a response. He alerted other people on site to get help and an ambulance was called. Two paramedics and two other farmworkers also suffered from the effects of the fumes. Mr Pitt was later declared dead without having regained consciousness.
Click HERE to read the full report on the HSE website