Farmer fined £10k for roof fall

A Fylde farmer has been fined £10,000 after health and safety breaches led to a worker being seriously injured after he fell through the roof of a lambing shed that he was working on.

The Health & Safety Executive prosecuted farmer James Brown at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Paul Rawlinson of Poulton le Fylde was hurt during work to demolish and rebuild a lambing shed on Brown’s farm at Lancaster Road, Out Rawcliffe.

An HSE investigation found that there was no safe working method in place and that Rawlinson, who was working his first day for Brown had not been given suitable training or equipment to work on the fragile asbestos roof when the incident happened on 5 August 2014.

Rawlinson fractured his head, spine and shoulder, broke four ribs, sustained a cut to his head that required 10 stitches and was badly bruised as a result. Rawlinson was in hospital for seven days and has still not recovered sufficiently to return to work.

James Brown of Broadpark Lane, Preston was fined a total of £9,735 and ordered to pay £3788.40 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) and 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the case HSE inspector Christopher Smith said: “The dangers of falls through fragile roofs and working at height are well known.

“Simple steps such as safety harnesses or platforms preventing the need to access the roof directly can and should be used to prevent accident and injury.

“Mr Brown’s failure to take any such actions resulted in Mr Rawlinson sustaining serious injuries which are still affecting him and from which he is not expected to fully recover for some considerable time.”

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