Farmer fined after worker dies from roof fall

A farmer has been fined following a worker’s fatal fall through the fragile roof of a milking parlour.

Mold Magistrates’ Court heard how on July 19, 2018, self-employed contractor David Alan Rees was fatally injured whilst he was clearing out the valley gutter from a ladder at Knolton Farm, Overton, Wrexham.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Robert Latham failed to plan the work at height and did not have any suitable equipment available to do the work safely.

Robert Latham of Knolton Farm, Overton pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £26,000 and has also been ordered to pay costs of £3,922.60 and a surcharge of £170.

Speaking after the case the HSE inspector, Mhairi Duffy said: “There are no winners in this tragic case.

Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers and contractors in the safe system of working.

“If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the death could have been prevented.”

It comes as the HSE warns farmers to pay closer attention to health and safety ahead of a new round of inspections.

Over the coming months, HSE inspectors will be visiting farms to remind farmers of their duty to protect themselves, their workers and members of the public from the risks of cattle.

The body warns that its inspectors will not hesitate to use enforcement to bring about improvements where necessary.