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BASIC FAILURES CAUSE FRAGILE ROOFLIGHT FALL

Farming firm fined after worker seriously injured in roof fall

Craigley Farms has been fined after a workman was seriously injured when he fell through a rooflight during building dismantling operations in July 2010.

Andrew Kennedy, aged 22, was working as a labourer  and was removing roof panels when he stepped onto a translucent panel which gave way causing him to fall 4m to the concrete floor below. He was airlifted to hospital with fractures to his collarbone, ribs, and a punctured lung. He has now made a recovery and returned to work.

Dumfries Sheriff Court was told (18 December 2013) that two men were working on the roof and instructed to “walk along the beams and stay clear of the panels and roof edges”.

HSE investigators revealed that a risk assessment had not been carried out for the work and that the work could have been carried out without anyone working at height by use of plant and equipment available on site. The investigation also found that there was no edge protection or any other means to prevent falls from height.

Entirely avoidable incident

Craigley Farms, of Craigley, Gelston, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire, was fined £6,670 after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Following 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.

 Falls from height remain one of the most common reasons for injuries and even fatalities at work, and it is fortunate that Mr Kennedy survived such a fall.

 Craigley Farms should have carried out a risk assessment before work started. This would have identified the method to do the work involved working at height, and safety measures should have then been used to minimise the risk.

 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.”

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