Farming company fined after worker seriously injured in roof fall
A farming partnership has been fined for safety failings after a worker was seriously injured when he fell from the roof of a cowshed that was being dismantled.
Andrew Kennedy, then aged just 22, was working as a labourer at Craigley Farms in Castle Douglas when the incident occurred in July 2010. Whilst removing roof panels from the cowshed, he turned and stepped onto a translucent panel, which gave way beneath him causing him to fall to the concrete floor some four metres below.
He suffered fractures to his right collarbone and several ribs, and a punctured lung. After being airlifted to hospital, a drain had to be inserted to enable the lung to re-inflate. He also had to have surgery to repair his broken collar bone. He has now made a recovery and has since returned to work.
Dumfries Sheriff Court heard that he was one of two men working on the roof, and that he had been instructed to walk along the beams and stay clear of panels and roof edges.
The HSE’s investigation revealed that no risk assessment had been carried out for the work, and it could have been easily done without anyone working at height, using plant and equipment on site. It also revealed that there was no edge protection or any other means to prevent falls from height in place.
Craigley Farms was fined £6,670 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Brendan Briody, said: “This was an entirely avoidable incident. Mr Kennedy sustained serious injuries from which he took several months to recover.
“A safer way of demolishing the cowshed could have been achieved without requiring anyone to work at height. There was plant and equipment on site that could have been used and, in fact, this method was used following Mr Kennedy’s injury which clearly illustrates how easily this incident could have been avoided.”