Agricultural building contractors fined after worker falls from height

A Sedbergh firm and a contractor have been fined a combined £13,000 after a worker fell through a roof on a farm.

On Monday (February 4), Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard how a 22-year-old worker suffered three fractured vertebrae, a displaced ribcage and a fractured heel after falling through a roof on a farm building.

The incident happened on February 23, 2017, had been working on the roof of a farm building when he fell through a skylight, over four metres, onto the concrete floor below.

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The worker was under the direction of John Parker, trading as J.R. Parker Agricultural Building and Landscaping. John Parker had been subcontracted by local firm Michael Mudd Limited, to repair the roof of the sheep shed at a farm near Orton, Penrith.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work lacked proper planning and that no measures had been put in place to protect against falls from height.

John Robert Parker of New Village, Ingleton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £2,000 with costs of £971.80.

Michael Mudd Ltd of Park View, Marthwaite, Sedbergh pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £11,000 with costs of £851.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matthew Tinsley said: “This incident was avoidable. It resulted in serious injuries, but a fall from this distance could easily have resulted in a death.

“Roof work should always be properly planned with measures put in place to prevent people falling and contractors should have sufficient knowledge, skills, equipment and experience to work safely at height on farm buildings.”