Worker fatally injured falling through fragile roof

A self-employed worker was fined when a casual worker he employed to repair a shed roof fell and was fatally injured.

Ayr Sheriff Court heard how on 26 August 2012, William Sproat, 63, from Patna, Ayshire, had been employed by David William McVey to repair a storm damaged shed roof at Brunton Farm, New Crummnock owned by William and Allison Nairn.

David McVey and William Sproat had accessed the shed roof via ladders to replace roof sheeting. William Sproat fell approximately 18 feet through the roof to the concrete floor below. He sustained serious injuries from which he died on 31 August 2012.

There was no edge protection and neither wore wearing safety harnesses. No measures were taken by David McVey to prevent or mitigate a fall from height.

David William McVey, of Jellieston Terrace, Patna, East Ayrshire, was fined a total of £10,000, after pleading guilty to offences under Section 2(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: 
  3. HSE news releases are available at


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