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A brother’s tribute to ‘devoted’ Northumberland animal lover killed in tragic goat farming incident UK News

A ‘devoted’ Northumberland animal lover who lived for the goats in her care died in a horrific farm accident after her employers failed to protect her.

Janet McDonald, 53, had worked at the Yorkshire Dairy Goats farm for 30 years, reports Hull Live. On August 1, 2018, she died after being struck by a reversing telehandler, an agricultural machine resembling a forklift.

His employer, based at St Helen’s Farm, Seaton Ross, East Yorkshire, admitted this month to failing to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees from risks caused by the machine. The company should be condemned at Hull Crown Court.

Read more: Three-year-old boy seriously injured in North Shields hit-and-run

While awaiting sentencing, Janet’s brother George McDonald paid tribute to his beloved younger sister. The youngest of four siblings, Janet was born in Morpeth, Northumberland, and later lived on a farm in Widdrington.

George 68, from Newcastle, said: “Her dad worked on a farm and that’s where she got her love of animals. She moved to Wales when she left school and that’s where that she met the owners of the farm. She got a job with them.

A smiling young woman on a horse
Janet has always loved animals, including horses

“She moved to Seaton Ross with them and worked there for 30 years. She lived on the farm in a trailer. She loved all the goats and made sure they were all in top condition.

“She took care of them, especially the newborns. She loved it. She was dedicated to it. She made sure the goats were okay. She was very dedicated to the goats. She also had two dogs and a horse. She had her own horse, Jet, which was kept on the farm.”

Janet was close to her family in the North East, including her sisters, Nancy, Elizabeth and Jean, and had hoped to retire to Ulgham, Northumberland. George said Janet was particularly close to Elizabeth, who she spoke to every night. Elizabeth, who had terminal cancer at the time, died two years ago and is buried in the village.

“[Janet] already had big plans for his retirement and was going to move to the village,” George said. “This is where she was going to move with her horse and dogs when she retired. Unfortunately, that won’t happen.

“It’s a big loss. She was going to move here. She would always be on the phone.”

The 53-year-old philanthropist has also worked extensively for the charity Riding for the Disabled.

George added: “She was always easy to talk to and she always got along with everyone she worked with. She was dedicated to her job and her animals. She rode horses and volunteered and took her dogs out One of her dogs always came with her She was never married but she loved her animals.

Janet was ‘dedicated to her work and her animals’

George said he attended an inquest in Hull into Janet’s death when a finding of accidental death was given. He said there had been very little contact from the company, although some representatives attended the funeral.

Janet was working at the goat barn around 9am on August 1, 2018 when she was struck by the reversing telehandler. She was airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary but died just after 1pm.

During the hearing Robert Stevenson, attorney for the Health and Safety Executive, said the company kept more than 3,500 goats for the production of various dairy products.

The telehandler was operated by a worker who was cleaning a goat barn in one of the nine sheds. It is believed that Janet entered the hangar through one of the entrances and was behind the telehandler as it backed out of a pen during the cleaning process.

Mr Stevenson said: “Janet McDonald was hit by the telehandler as it backed up. The telehandler has a flashing light and beeps loudly when reversing. However, the site is generally busy and noisy There are, for example, other telehandlers and machines in operation on site.

“As Janet McDonald lay badly injured, once she was hit she said she thought the telehandler was moving forward, which indicates she had seen it moving forward at some point shortly before. the incident, but that she thought it was normal that she should go behind.

“There were no clear rules, effective barriers or other measures in place to prevent pedestrians from entering the same area as a moving telehandler throughout the site.”

He said an ‘appropriate and sufficient risk assessment’ should have been used to identify ways to separate pedestrians and vehicles, but at the time of the incident no such system was in place .

Pedestrian access was unrestricted while agricultural vehicles, including three telehandlers, a tractor and a trailer, moved freely, including in reverse.

‘There was nothing to prevent a pedestrian from entering an area where a telehandler or other machine was working,’ Mr Stevenson said.

“There were no signs or physical barriers to warn pedestrians that the…

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This notice was published: 2022-04-28 09:17:45

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