Farmer charged as worker seriously injured in fall through roof

Farmer James Brown has been fined after health and safety breaches led to a worker being seriously injured after he fell through a roof he was working on at Mr Brown’s farm.

The Health and Safety Executive successfully prosecuted James Brown at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

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

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

Mr 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. Mr Rawlinson was in hospital for seven days and has still not recovered sufficiently to return to work.

Mr 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 commented: “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.”

For more information on what employers need to do to protect employees when they work at height please visit –

Notes to Editors 

  1. Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.
  2. Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”
  3. Regulations 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned.”
  4. HSE news releases are available at http//

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