A construction company has been sentenced after a worker was injured while demolishing a farm building.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how, on September 20, 2017, an employee of Northern Structures Ltd was removing roof sheets from a timber frame farm building when he fell approximately 4m through one of the asbestos cement roof sheets onto the ground below, suffering a fractured spine.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that, while a risk assessment and method statement were in place to remove the roof sheets from below, this method was then changed to remove them from above. It was during this process that the employee fell through a roof sheet.

Northern Structures of Amble Industrial Estate, Amble, Northumberland pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) and Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £150,000 with £791.70 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Loren Wilmot said: “Suitable and sufficient measures should have been in place through the use of alternative access equipment.

“This would have negated the need for the employee to be on the roof of the building, therefore eliminating the risk of a fall from a height through the roof sheets.”

It follows a similar incident in court this week, where a Devon agricultural engineer was fined after a worker fell 3m through a roof suffering brain injuries while working at a business park in March 2017.