A farmer from East Sussex has been fined by Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court after an employee fell approximately three metres from a cow shed roof in September 2014.
The worker sustained injuries which included five broken vertebrae, two broken ribs and a damaged leg socket.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Investigation into the fall highlighted that the farmer had neglected to plan and manage a repair job to an internal gutter. The worker had accessed the cow shed roof by the aid of a ladder and walked along the side of a concrete gutter.
The worker noticed that one of the roof sheets was cracked and while trying to inspect it, fell through the roof and onto a concrete floor.
The HSE told the Court that no safety equipment had been provided and the staff were not trained. An improvement notice was served on the farm to ensure any further work performed at height was planned, managed and provided for.
The Court fined the farmer a total of £12,000 and ordered to pay a further £881 in costs after pleading guilty to three separate breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005
After the case was heard, HSE Inspector Russell Beckett said:
“Falls through fragile roofs account for almost a quarter of all work at height deaths, so it is absolutely vital that any such work is fully considered and that the correct equipment and working methods are used at all times.
“On this occasion the repairs should have been completed from underneath, avoiding the need to access the roof in the first place.”
For further information on working at heights click here.