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A twenty year old worker falls through barn roof

A twenty year old worker falls through barn roof

27 July 2012 Email this article

 A 20-year-old worker suffered severe injuries when he fell 4.5 metres through a roof light. An East Yorkshire farm owner has been fined for a serious breach of safety law.

Daniel Boldan Hoggard was on the roof trying to repair a leak between two adjoining farm buildings at Low Hunsley Farm in Cottingham when he tripped and smashed through one of six rooflights, landing on the concrete floor.

Daniel, now 21, of Shaftesbury Avenue, Goole, punctured a lung and kidney, cracked four vertebrae and had extensive bruising in the incident on 19 July last year. He was in hospital for a week and was unable to work for six weeks. A year on, he is still receiving physiotherapy to ease the longer-term impact of his injuries.

Beverley Magistrates' Court was told today (3 July) that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and brought a prosecution against farm owner David Adamson.

HSE found Mr Adamson had failed to consider the significant risks involved of working at height and had not put any safeguards or protective controls in place during the roof work.

Magistrates heard Mr Adamson had hired Daniel Boldan Hoggard to help out over the busy summer harvest period and to assist with building repairs and general farm work.

Both men had together made one attempt over several hours to fix the leak on the roof, which sloped from 4.1m to nearly 5m and had six roof lights along its 27m length.

After that failed, Mr Adamson asked Daniel to fit lead flashing where the leaks remained. It was while he was doing this that he tripped, lost his balance and plunged through the roof light on to the concrete below.

David Adamson, of Low Hunsley Farm, Little Weighton, Cottingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £3,893.90 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Paul Eastell, who investigated the incident, said:

"Daniel Boldan Hoggard is, frankly, lucky to be alive. Falls from height kill more workers than anything else and is one of the most common causes of death in agriculture, yet Mr Adamson did not put any safety measures in place to protect Daniel as he worked over four metres from the ground.

"Working at height, and even more so near fragile surfaces, is very high risk and yet HSE Inspectors continue to find dangerous practice and a disregard for common sense and inexpensive safety controls. In this case there should at least have been suitable platforms, guard rails and boarding over the roof lights.

"I'm pleased that Daniel has made a reasonable recovery from his injuries and I hope this case emphasises to the wider farming community the need to think carefully through the dangers involved in all work activities and then act to reduce those risks to their workers and themselves."