Farm worker breaks leg in harvester mishap

WCB investigating the workplace incident

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on October 3, 2014

A farm worker was injured Friday morning when he got tangled up in this potato harvester in Hampshire.

©Guardian photo by Jim Day

A 68-year-old New Dominion man was seriously injured in a farm accident Friday morning.

The man is believed to have broken his left leg after getting caught in a potato harvester's deviner chain, which separates the vines and trash from the tubers.

Robert Sanderson, co-owner of Fulton Sanderson and Sons in Hampshire, says the man was out of view when he became entangled in the harvester.

"Nobody could see him,'' says Sanderson.

"He shouldn't have been in there but hindsight is 20/20.''

Sanderson says the man, who has worked part-time on this potato farm the past two years, got caught in the equipment while the harvester was stopped at the end of a large field.

The belt was just being stopped when the accident occurred, otherwise the man could have been more seriously injured, notes Sanderson.

He says three men were able to free the injured man out from under a roller in just two or three minutes.

He believes the man went into shock.

Paramedics and the North River Fire Department were quick to arrive on the scene. The man was transported to hospital with what police describe as serious but non-life threatening injuries.

"Response was good,'' says Sanderson.

The accident brought harvesting to a standstill on a warm, dry morning at the Hampshire farm.

"It's been a hard last three hours, I know that,'' says Sanderson early Friday afternoon, shortly after speaking with occupational health and safety officers with the Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I.

The officers are investigating the workplace accident.