Gisburn auction mart fined after fatal incident involving a dairy bull

A livestock auction mart has been fined after an employee was fatally injured when he was struck by a dairy bull he was helping to load on to a lorry.

By Dominic Collis
Monday, 28th March 2022, 10:50 am

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard that on August 25th 2017, John Leverton was helping to move a bull and four cows towards a waiting lorry at the premises of his employer Gisburn Auction Marts Ltd. Whilst trying to load the livestock into the lorry, the bull turned and attacked the employee, causing fatal injuries.

Seventy-year-old Mr Leverton, who was known as “Martin” to his family and friends, was loading the animal into a wagon with a lorry driver at the time of the incident.

The former farmer had worked as a member of the yard staff for more than 20 years.

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Mr John Leverton, who was known as Martin

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that there weren’t any suitable refuges or barriers within the loading area for those handling the livestock to shelter behind, if for example, cattle became fractious.

Gisburn Auction Marts Ltd of The Auction Mart, Gisburn, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,819.

HSE inspector Anthony Banks said: “This incident could so easily have been prevented. The bull was able to strike the employee because he had been unable to outrun or out manoeuvre the bull and he was unable to seek protection from any form of refuge or barrier when it began to charge. The company should have undertaken a suitable and sufficient risk assessment to identify, and put in place, the appropriate control measures.”